The NFL has reached a $765 million settlement with the more than 4,500 retired players named in concussion-related lawsuits, the league announced Thursday.
The judgment — which still requires approval from the federal judge overseeing the cases in Philadelphia — came after nearly two months of negotiations.
The biggest chunk of the money — $675 million — will compensate former players and their families who have suffered cognitive injury; $75 million is earmarked for baseline medical exams; $10 million goes to a research and education fund; $4 million will cover costs of notice to class action members and $2 million pays one-half of the settlement administrator's fees.
“This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football,” said the court-appointed mediator, former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips. “Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed."
One thing the settlement is not: an admission by the NFL of liability.
“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,” said NFL executive vice president Jeffrey Pash. “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."
Last week, ESPN made headlines when it pulled its brand from the documentary "League of Denial," which the network had collaborated on with PBS. The film does not depict the NFL, which has large contracts with ESPN, in a favorable light. While some reports said that the NFL pressured ESPN to remove its logo from the documentary, both the NFL and ESPN denied those allegations to TheWrap.