Nearly four years after the settlement was negotiated, the money finally is being paid out.
Via Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, a pair of former players have become the first two recipients of payments in the NFL’s concussion settlement. One received $5 million for a qualifying diagnosis of ALS. Another received $4 million for a qualifying diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
The amounts mean that both players spent at least five years in the NFL and received their diagnoses before turning 45. The CTE payment means that the player in question died, with the money going to his estate.
The claims process opened on March 23, which means that it took nearly three months for the first two claims to be finalized.
The settlement obtained court approval in part by the decision of the NFL to remove the cap from the total payments that could be made. The settlement was nevertheless criticized for being too restrictive, especially as to players who may die in the future with CTE or who may eventually be diagnoses with CTE while still alive, if/when the ability to diagnose CTE in living patients is ever developed.