Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid agreed to settle a collusion case with the NFL, something that will hopefully put an end to a dark chapter of protests in the league. Most notable is the kneeling protests linked to the 31-year-old football player which started way back in 2016.

Curiously, the NFL has been known not to shy away from legal battles. Hence, this settlement with Kaepernick and Reid does come as a surprise. Details of the settlement were not divulged, but it does close a dark chapter that included presidential meddling, boycotts and lower television ratings in recent seasons, NBC News reported.

Kaepernick got support from different personalities, notably Rihanna, Cardi B and Najee Ali. Rihanna and Cardi B rejected offers to perform during the halftime of the Super Bowl, while Ali of the group Project Islamic Hope boycotted the NFL for two seasons. With the mess settled, he said that he will return to watch Rams games.

The kneeling protests have undoubtedly hurt the NFL career of Kaepernick. It remains to be seen if the settlement will finally open new doors to the former Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year.

For former wide receiver Cris Carter, Kaepernick could be a potential replacement to Tom Brady of the New England Patriots when the 41-year-old quarterback's NFL career comes to a close.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots looked at [Kaepernick]," Carter said on First Things First. "The Krafts are very, very fond of Colin Kaepernick. If someone will do it, it will be the people in New England."

Also, Pats owner Robert Kraft seems to be fond of Kaepernick and once expressed that he would like to see him back in the NFL. Would that include taking him in and preparing for the post-Tom Brady era?

It may all depend on the condition of Kaepernick. At 31, he would need to work himself back to NFL shape. To his credit, he has thrown 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in five seasons as a starter. Aside from that, he has run a total of 2,300 yards and made 13 touchdowns. He has appeared in the Super Bowl only once.

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick's collusion settlement may finally open doors for a potential NFL return. Honoree Colin Kaepernick speaks onstage at ACLU SoCal Hosts Annual Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on December 3, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. Getty Images/Matt Winkelmeyer

Kaepernick last saw NFL action in 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. He played 12 games and finished the season with 2,241 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, four interceptions and added 468 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Will he pick up from that soon?