At a time when more and more former players are joining concussion lawsuits against the league, the league is trying to do more to bring former players into the family and help steer them toward programs designed to help them.
According to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, the NFL is launching an initiative called the NFL Legends Program to help connect alumni.
Troy Vincent, the league’s senior vice president of player engagement, said the goal of was to help alumni connect with each other and their old teams, and point players toward certain resources.
“We have to take care of each other like we did on the field,” Vincent said.
They’ve enlisted 19 players to help with the effort — including Hall of Famers Rod Woodson and John Randle along with others including Chad Pennington, Warrick Dunn and Aeneas Williams — who will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell next week during an orientation program.
“Nobody wants the game to leave them,” Vincent said. “We all understand our bodies have an expiration date. Many of us want to still be associated with the game but there are very few opportunities and places where that can exist.”
The other former players participating as directors and coordinators in the program are Hardy Nickerson, Mark Bruener, Ron Rice, Leonard Wheeler, Raghib Ismail, Jay Novacek, Will Shields, LaVar Arrington, Keith Elias, Patrick Kerney, Ed Reynolds, Donovin Darius, Mike Rucker and Mark Brunell.
The program will help connect players with both medical and financial resources available to them, and keep a link between players who often feel like they’ve lost connections when they left the game.