More than three months ago, the NFL struck a comprehensive settlement with the thousands of former players who had sued the league for concealing the effects of head injuries. The settlement, if approved, will apply to all retired players.
But every retired player has the right to opt out of the settlement. Former Cowboys, Giants, and Broncos quarterback Craig Morton apparently will.
On Tuesday, Morton sued the NFL and NFL Properties in California federal court. The 11-count, 373-paragraph complaint, a copy of which PFT has obtained, alleges that the NFL knew or should have known the risks of repeated blows to the head. The complaint specifically alleges that quarterbacks like Morton historically have been more exposed to head injuries, given that defensive players try to “sack” them.
At paragraph six, the complaint mentions that the term “sack” possibly traces to Morton himself, citing our article from June 2013 in which Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy explained that the late George Allen told his Redskins players, “[W]e’re going to take that Morton salt and pour him into a sack.’”
Some will say that Morton is now looking for a sack of money. Others will say he’s pursuing justice. Regardless, the proposed concussion settlement gives all former players the ability to pursue their own legal actions.
If enough of them opt out of the settlement and press forward against the league, someone eventually could force the NFL to do that which it surely hopes to avoid ever doing — disclosing what it knew and when it knew it about head injuries.