The settlement calls for the NFL to pay $765 million. Of that, $675 million will be distributed to the retired players over the next 20 years. Attorneys’ fees don’t come out of that pot.
It sounds like a lot of money, but consider this: It averages out to $37,500 a player. That’s all. And some players will require millions of dollars in help.
According to an Associated Press report, the players agreed to the settlement because “Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody advised that going to court could end badly for both sides in the case.”
It’s a shame it’s come to this. We all understand that in the past, nobody – including the NFL -- fully understood the damage players were doing to themselves. We probably still don’t, which is why that settlement also includes money for research.
The NFL is an organization that creates billions of dollars in wealth, and it’s hard to understand why it can’t figure out a way to pay more to those who helped build the league.
The NFL likely is reluctant to do anything that could be interpreted as admitting football can cause head injuries. Terms of the settlement actually say the NFL doesn’t have to admit that. But isn’t there a better way?
What happens when too many players apply for a legitimate cut of the settlement and eventually are told there isn’t enough money for everyone?
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.