NFL World Reacts as League Settles Concussion Lawsuit for $765 Million
The National Football League reached a $765 million agreement with former players to settle litigation related to concussions and brain injuries. It includes compensation for those impacted and further research on the subject, ESPN reports.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 12:25 a.m. ET
The Associated Press (via USA Today) has the latest on a new development:
Four former NFL players have sued the league and its helmet maker, claiming they hid information about the dangers of brain injury. They want medical care for past, current and future NFL players.
The ex-players — Jimmy Williams, Rich Mauti, Jimmy Keyes and Nolan Franz — filed the federal lawsuit in New Orleans on Sunday.
---End of update---
As a part of the deal, there was no admission of guilt or liability by the NFL. The report states a judge must still approve the agreement, but the tentative deal includes individual awards for former players based on their conditions:
One of the principle terms of the settlement is that the agreement "cannot be considered, an admission by the NFL of liability, or an admission that plaintiffs' injuries were caused by football."
According to the settlement, $675 million of the $765 million would be used to compensate former players and families of deceased players who have suffered cognitive injury. Other money will be used for baseline medical exams, the cost of which will be capped at $75 million. The NFL will also fund research and education at a cost of $10 million.
The settlement sparked a reaction from the football community. The issue of concussions and the long-term impact of head injuries has become a growing concern in recent years, and the agreement is the latest step in the ongoing saga.
Former NFL offensive lineman and Players Association president Kevin Mawae believes the deal is a loss for players both now and in the future considering the amount of money the league is expected to make in the coming years:
NFL concussion lawsuit net outcome? Big loss for the players now and the future! Estimated NFL revenue by 2025 = $27 BILLION— Kevin Mawae (@KevinMawae) August 29, 2013
United States District Judge Layn Phillips, who served as a mediator for the settlement process, called the deal a historic agreement that ensures former players who need help receive it, per agent and former NFL linebacker Ralph Cindrich:
This is a historic agreement-1 that will make sure former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it. Judge Phillips.— Ralph Cindrich (@RalphCindrich) August 29, 2013
Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that the amount franchises will owe to cover the settlement is just a small slice of what they earn on an average yearly basis:
Why NFL teams should be smiling: Average NFL team takes in $286m per year. Each team will owe about $30m, incl atty fees, in settlement.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 29, 2013
Along the same lines, Darren Rovell of ESPN stated that the already valuable NFL franchises are going to receive another boost following the settlement:
Once NFL concussion settlement gets approved, franchise values will jump even more. Some potential owners shied away on damage speculation.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 29, 2013
Rovell had this interesting take on the settlement itself:
$765M settlement number seems advantageous to the NFL. But remember, case wasn't a slam dunk. League could have prevailed.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 29, 2013
Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter clearly doesn't believe the settlement is anything more than a major victory for the owners:
Hate that I'm boarding plane during news of concussion settlement. Huge HUGE win for NFL owners. Did I say huge?!— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) August 29, 2013
Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe is one of the league's most outspoken players, and he didn't shy away from sharing his thoughts on the concussion settlement:
Curious, though, what the NFL is going to do after putting $765 million into figuring out you can't pad the inside of someone's head.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 29, 2013
Aaron Curry, who recently retired from the league, tweeted that the money won't make up for everything else players lose:
Settlement on #concussions not gonna make up for early death, forgetting kids name and rest of stuff that come w/ brain trauma. Prayers— Aaron Curry (@AaronCurry51) August 29, 2013
There's clearly a wide range of opinions on both the subject of head injuries and the settlement. Today's news is simply another step in the process.
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