Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in the offseason and has been a free agent ever since -- even though he said last month that he's "ready now" to play in the NFL. Depending on who you ask, Kaepernick's fate isn't about him being blackballed for kneeling during the national anthem last season to protest social injustice, but is simply a function of poor play in recent years.

But it's hard to reconcile that reality with one where the likes of Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown, Brock Osweiler and Brandon Weeden are currently employed in the NFL. And this goes a long way in explaining why Kaepernick has filed a collusion grievance against the owners.

And Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, says he has a "high degree of confidence" that he will be able to prove that the NFL owners colluded to keep the quarterback out of the league.

"I am going to predict right now that we will have a smoking gun," Geragos told CNN's Anderson Cooper during an appearance Tuesday night on "AC360." "There are people who are not going to get into an arbitration proceeding and they are not going to lie. They are not going to lie. They are going to tell the truth and they're going to say what happened. They were told no, you're not going to hire him."

That's typically not how a smoking gun works -- either you have one or you don't. Semantics aside, Geragos isn't alone in thinking that Kaepernick is being blackballed.