Now that the concussion settlement encompassing all retired players has received preliminary court approval, the process of getting notice of the settlement to all retired players has commenced.
That process includes a banner ad purchased from the league’s own website, NFL.com. Which means that, in a roundabout way, a portion of the money the league is paying as part of the settlement is coming back to the league.
The link leads to the NFLConcussionSettlement.com home page, which contains a summary of the situation and provides a link for registration by retired players. The summary points out that benefits only will be paid to former players with “ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia and certain cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE (a neuropathological finding) diagnosed after death.”
Healthy players become entitled to a baseline evaluation and retain eligibility for future benefits, if any of the covered conditions emerges at some point over the next 65 years.
To be eligible, a player must be retired. And while the window technically closed when Judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to the settlement on July 7, players who decide to hang it up before the start of the 2014 regular season may be able to join the settlement. Which could (and, really, should) be a factor for players weighing the pros and cons of joining the settlement — especially since benefits will be paid without proof that playing NFL football caused the covered conditions.