Sources: NFL pushes for ruling on whether Colin Kaepernick's collusion case should continue

The NFL is attempting to force Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league to a close, sources familiar with the proceedings have told Yahoo Sports.

Citing a subsection of Article 17 – the portion of the collective-bargaining agreement that deals with collusion cases – the NFL has requested that arbitrator Stephen Burbank provide a summary judgment in the case, sources said.

Here’s what arbitrator in Kaepernick case must decide

The request puts the future of the case in the hands of Burbank, who now must determine whether Kaepernick’s legal team has uncovered sufficient evidence to continue the quarterback’s action against the league. If Burbank rules Kaepernick’s attorneys have found evidence to move toward a hearing, the case will continue, possibly with additional depositions. If he finds that the current discovery evidence is insufficient to advance, he can dismiss the case in favor of the NFL.

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Names in Colin Kaepernick's grievance against NFL
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Names in Colin Kaepernick's grievance against NFL

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be deposed as part of the grievance. 

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is named in the collusion grievance. 

(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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In no uncertain terms, the request is the most pivotal moment in the nearly nine months of discovery and depositions between the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and the NFL. With the league’s request for summary judgment, Kaepernick’s legal team will now have to file an argument with discovery or deposition material that supports the case continuing.

According to Article 17 in the CBA, the argument will need to show evidence “sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact capable of satisfying” Kaepernick’s collusion allegation.

Move to involve President Trump could get shut down  

It’s unclear what impact Burbank’s decision could have on an attempt by Kaepernick’s legal team to pursue subpoenas of President Donald Trump and/or others in his administration. That push was expected in the coming weeks, but would seemingly be struck down if Burbank halts the collusion case altogether.

At last count, Kaepernick’s legal team gathered 14 depositions, along with a significant amount of electronic discovery, including emails and text messages. Kaepernick’s collusion case is nearing the conclusion of its ninth month, with depositions including commissioner Roger Goodell and multiple NFL team owners and executives, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft.

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