For many civil lawsuits, the cost of the settlement is passed along to the customers. The cost of the NFL’s concussion lawsuit will likely be passed along to the employees.
The devil in this one resides, as it usually does, in the details. The documents released on Thursday indicate that, once the settlement receives final approval, half of the $765 million settlement will be paid over three years, with the rest paid over the next 17 years.
That’s a total payment of $23.9 million per team — over 20 years. For the first three years, each team will pay $3.984 million per year. For the next 17 years after that, each team will pay $703,125 per year.
So where will money that, for the first three years, looks like the salary of one starting-caliber player and, for the next 17, looks like the pay given to an unproven rookie come from?
For each team, the easy solution is to add those amounts to the internal player budget, and in turn to set less money aside each year for players based on the money to go to the concussion lawsuits.
Coincidentally, the NFLPA plans no comment on the concussion settlement because the NFLPA wasn’t a party to any of the cases. While the union wasn’t sued, it’s safe to say that its rank-and-rile in a roundabout way will be funding the settlement.