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Eric Reid’s potential PED testing grievance likely was settled, too

Eric Reid earned a three-year extension with the Panthers after a promising 2018 season, but Mike Florio explains why his new deal doesn't make his collusion case go away.

When it comes to the confidential settlement reached by and between the NFL, Colin Kaepernick, and Eric Reid, no one is saying anything. About anything.

Beyond the announcements issued by the parties on Friday, the terms of which no doubt were written carefully, reviewed painstakingly, and approved warily, nothing else has been or will be provided, at least not anytime soon.

Here’s one angle that, given the standard approach to settlement agreements, likely requires no confirmation from either side: Any potential grievance or other legal claim arising from Reid’s suspicion that he was targeted for PED testing in retaliation for his collusion claim most likely were waived as part of the resolution.

Most settlement agreements include broad, sweeping language releasing the party writing the check from any and all liability, with broad and repetitive language aimed at encompassing all claims that were made and that could have been made, typically including a description of the period encompassed as “from the beginning of time to the date of this agreement.”

But prospective waivers of liability can’t happen. If Reid believes that he’s being singled out for PED testing or substance-abuse testing or fines for on-field hits, he could (in theory) argue that the league is retaliating against him. It’s nevertheless possible that, as part of his settlement documents, Reid has signed an acknowledgement that he currently has no evidence of foul play as it relates to past PED testing and that all testing, fines, etc. were on the up and up. It’s not an absolute protection against future entanglements, but it becomes the best way to wipe the slate clean.

The settlement agreement also could (and probably should) include an agreement pursuant to which Reid will make no allegations of retaliation absent evidence of retaliation, and that if he believes he’s the victim of retaliation he will say nothing about it publicly unless and until he files a formal grievance.

Regardless of the specific language used, it’s likely the last we’ll hear of Reid thinking he’s been targeted for PED tests. If we do, it will mean either that Reid is violating his agreement or that the NFL’s lawyers didn’t do a very good job of drafting it.