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:
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:
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:
Along the same lines, Darren Rovell of ESPN stated that the already valuable NFL franchises are going to receive another boost following the settlement:
Rovell had this interesting take on the settlement itself:
Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter clearly doesn't believe the settlement is anything more than a major victory for the owners:
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:
Aaron Curry, who recently retired from the league, tweeted that the money won't make up for everything else players lose:
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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