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NFL agrees to 'open-ended' concussion payments to retired players

The league had capped payments at approximately €555 million last August.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Image: David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images

THE NFL WILL not put a limit on cash payments to former players who suffer from dementia, Parkinson’s or other diseases related to multiple head hits received during their playing career according to a statement issued by the league today.

The revised settlement comes after months of negotiations with player representatives following Judge Anita B. Brody’s rejection of their offer to pay approximately €555 million to 18,000 retired players – or, if they’ve died, their families – who have suffered from “cognitive impairment.”

Under the terms of the new agreement, there will be no upper limit to the amount paid to former players or their families. However, the league is still not required to admit any fault.

Equally, the deal does not require former players to prove their illnesses are a direct result of concussions received during their time in the NFL.

“This agreement will give retired players and their families immediate help if they suffer from a qualifying neuro-cognitive illness and provide peace of mind to those who fear they may develop a condition in the future,” said a representative for the former players Christopher Seeger.

“This settlement guarantees that these benefits will be there if needed, and does so without years of litigation that may have left many retired players without any recourse.”

The new deal will also see the NFL spend over €7 million for education on concussion prevention with a view to reducing the risks for current and future players.

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Steve O'Rourke

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