Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Many unhappy with settlement

NEW YORK — The hundreds of millions of dollars the NFL is ready to pay former players to settle concussion lawsuits sounds great, until you stretch it out over 20 years and divide it among thousands of people.

Which is why some former players think the league is getting off cheap in its tentative settlement over concussion-related brain injuries.

"The breakdown is $1.2 million over 20 years per team. What is that, a third of the average salary?" said former Viking Brent Boyd, one of the original plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the league. "There is no penalty there. It's pocket change."

The deal announced Thursday to settle 4,500 or so claims is awaiting approval by a federal judge in Philadelphia.

"Whether I got a dollar or a billion dollars, that wasn't going to help how I was feeling," said former NFL and Miami Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Kosar, who has dealt with health issues.

Former center and players union president Kevin Mawae called the deal "$700 million worth of hush money that they will never have to be accountable for."

Others former players prefer to focus on timing.

"Those people who need help now, really need the help the most and need it right now and not five years from now, will get the help," said former fullback Kevin Turner, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and was one of the lead plaintiffs. "That is key."

Bengals: The league suspended defensive end DeQuin Evans for the first eight games for a second violation of its performance-enhancing substance policy.

BILLS: The team released quarterback Matt Leinart and placed Kevin Kolb (concussion) on season-ending injured reserve. Teams must reach the roster limit of 53 by 6 p.m. today.

Browns: Tight end Dan Gronkowski, older brother of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, was released.

CARDINALS: 2013 first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper was placed on injured reserve with a broken left leg, ending the left guard's season.

CHARGERS: Former Florida tackle Max Starks, who played his first nine seasons with the Steelers, was cut.

EAGLES: Ex-FSU linebacker Everette Brown was released.

FALCONS: The team waived Brian Banks, the linebacker trying to start his career after spending five years in prison on a rape and kidnapping conviction that was overturned.

49ERS: Seneca Wallace left the team Thursday, with coach Jim Harbaugh saying, "He's not going to continue to play football." But Wallace's agent, Don Yee, told the Sacramento Bee that the quarterback was not retiring.

JETS: Coach Rex Ryan said of the team's quarterback battle, "I guess you can assume it's ongoing if we haven't announced anything yet." Mark Sanchez (right shoulder) might miss the Sept. 8 opener at home against the Bucs, so rookie Geno Smith could start.

RAVENS: Ex-Jesuit High running back Anthony Allen was released.

REDSKINS: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was cleared to play, eight months after right knee surgery, but coach Mike Shanahan didn't name him as the Week 1 starter. He also said Dr. James Andrews had "concerns" about Griffin, but the Washington Post said Andrews denied that in a text message: "None of it is true. No concerns."

Hernandez case: Massachusetts prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder case said there's no truth to an allegation by lawyers for the former Patriots and Gators tight end that investigators misled a potential witness. Hernandez was indicted last week in Odin Lloyd's death.

Ex-player assaulted: Former defensive back and kick returner Fulton Walker was recovering after West Virginia sheriff's deputies said he was beaten during a home-invasion robbery this week. Two men entered Walker's Martinsburg home, assaulted him and stole a handgun, Berkeley County Lt. Gary Harmison said.

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