DALLAS –– The announcement that the NFL has reached a tentative agreement with its 18,000 retired players came as a surprise to two former Cowboys who sued the league over the impact concussions had on their lives after football.
"I didn't think they would settle that in my life time." said former defensive tackle Randy White. "If it helps guys, that's good. I don't know what it all means, at least they're trying to do something."
White had not heard about the agreement until News 8 called him. The tentative agreement is said to be a $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries sustained by former players.
"I'm excited about it, especially for the former players who are having problems. It will benefit them. It will certainly help guys who have health problems," said former Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. "The health care issue is in there and it will help ex-players moving forward."
"I don't know any of the specifics," White said. "I was told that each guy would be individually tested and diagnosed on a per case basis."
White and Jordan were among the more than 4,500 former players who sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field. He says he's not sure what the next step will be.
Under the settlement, individual awards would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer's disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia, said lead plaintiffs' lawyer Christopher Seeger.
Any of the approximately 18,000 former NFL players are eligible.
"We've had so many guys who have committed suicide and haven't been able to get the health care that they needed," Jordan said.
That includes ex-player Junior Seau and lead plaintiff Ray Easterling who filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia in August 2011. Later, both committed suicide.