Much has been made recently, of the rise of concussions in the NFL. There have been numerous rule changes to protect defenseless players from extreme hits to the head in order to combat the issue, but former players who are already struggling with the effects of the hits taken throughout their careers have nothing.
Today the NFL has begun to change that with this monumental $765 million agreement over concussion related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players. $675 million of that money will go towards compensating retired players and families of retired or deceased players suffering from cognitive injury. The NFL will also put $75 million towards baseline testing and $10 million to fund research and education.
Retired players who develop neurological illness in the future will also be eligible to apply for compensation.
Individual awards cap out at $5 million for players suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, $4 million for players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after their death, and $3 million for those suffering with dementia.
NFL Executive Vice President Jeffery Pash was very happy with the outcome via ESPN.com:
This agreement lets us help those who need it most and continue our work to make the game safer for current and future players. 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.
The plaintiffs of the suit included at least 10 Hall of Famers including former Cowboys RB Tony Dorsett, former Bears QB Jim McMahon, and the family of former Chargers LB Junior Seau.
All current NFL players are not covered in this settlement.