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NFL Reaches $765 Million Settlement With Concussed Retired Players

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL has reached a tentative agreement with 4,500 retired players on a $765 million concussion settlement.

Many former players have dealt with, and are continuing to deal with, severe neurological conditions as a result of on-field concussions during their playing career.

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

In addition to the money, baseline testing will be available for all former players who desire it. All retired players are eligible to apply for testing and payment from the settlement, not just the 4,500 named in the lawsuit.

This is a giant win for the NFL, who were worried the concussion lawsuit could cost them billions upon billions. The settlement today will only cost each franchise a little more than $30 million. For a league making billions per year, the $30 million price tag is acceptably small. Aside from money, the settlement gives the NFL the right to keep the internal files about what it knew, when, about concussion-linked brain problems. Had those files reached the court and became public, a likely media firestorm  would’ve benefited the plaintiffs.

NFL VP Jeff Pash released the following statement:

“This agreement lets us help those who need it most and continue our work to make the game safer for current and future players. Commissioner Goodell and every owner gave the legal team the same direction: do the right thing for the game and for the men who played it. We thought it was critical to get more help to players and families who deserve it rather than spend many years and millions of dollars on litigation. This is an important step that builds on the significant changes we’ve made in recent years to make the game safer, and we will continue our work to better the long-term health and well-being of NFL players.”

Is this the end of the concussion cloud hanging over the NFL? Maybe.The beginning of the end? Likely.

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