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NFL notes: Arbitrator decides Colin Kaepernick grievance case can go to trial

NFL notes: Arbitrator decides Colin Kaepernick grievance case can go to trial
Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since he became a free agent in 2017. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

An arbitrator is sending Colin Kaepernick's grievance with the NFL to trial, denying the league's request to throw out the quarterback's claims that owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests of social injustice.

Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a picture Thursday of a ruling by arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank.

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The former 49ers quarterback argues that owners have colluded to keep him off any NFL roster since he hit free agency in 2017.

Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The protests have grown into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during the anthem.

Kaepernick contends the owners violated union rules by conspiring to keep him off of teams.

Gronkowski gets bump from bonuses

Rob Gronkowski's agent says the Patriots star is the NFL's highest paid tight end after New England reworked his contract to add $4.3 million this season. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Thursday that Gronkowski's deal for the next two seasons adds $1 million in per game bonuses and $3.3 million in incentives for things like catches, playing time and touchdowns. Rosenhaus says Gronkowski's base salary stays at $8 million, with the additions boosting the potential value to more than $13 million. …

Dumervil calls it quits

Pass rusher Elvis Dumervil is retiring from the NFL after 12 years. He says he wants to spend more time with his family and real estate business. Dumervil entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick in Denver in 2006. He spent seven years with the Broncos, four more with Baltimore and finished his career last year with San Francisco. He finished his career with 105 1/2 sacks, fourth all- time in the NFL, trailing only DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers. Dumervil made five Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2009 and 2014.

Etc.

Sam Darnold watched the New York Jets’ preseason finale from the sideline like most starters, but coach Todd Bowles said he wasn’t ready to name the rookie from USC his No. 1 quarterback. “I haven’t made a decision or talked to anybody about it,” Bowles said after the Jets’ 10-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. ...

Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley suffered a left knee injury on a low hit after throwing a pass during the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-26 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati, giving Jeff Driskel the inside track for the backup spot behind Andy Dalton. ...

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to trade offensive lineman Parker Ehinger to the Dallas Cowboys for cornerback Charvarius Ward, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press. ...

No. 1 draft pick Baker Mayfield passed for 138 yards in a dominant first half for the Cleveland Browns in a 35-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Detroit. ...

The NFL has hired 24 full-time game officials, including veteran referees Walt Anderson and Pete Morelli. The number of full-time officials is up from 21 last season.

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