Disabled Former N.F.L. Gamers Get a Reprieve on Profit Cuts

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Disabled Former N.F.L. Players Get a Reprieve on Benefit Cuts

When the NFL Players Association agreed in March to cut payments to some of the league’s most vulnerable former players by reducing their disability benefits starting January 1, 2021, the decision sparked outrage and legal challenges among retired players and theirs Families out.

The union said on Tuesday that the deadline for reducing these payments had been extended by three years.

In a statement, the union said the executive committee and the players’ representative had unanimously voted to amend the current collective agreement so that the benefits of the 400 or so players who are now receiving benefits for total and permanent disability would not be reduced in any way $ 2,000 per month through early 2024.

Players found incapacitated in the NFL due to injuries will receive up to $ 138,000 per year. That amount should have been reduced by the value of their Disability Social Security benefits, which are $ 2,000 or more per month.

The union’s willingness to agree to team owners’ requests for benefits cut has been heavily criticized on social media by the wives of former disabled players. Eric Reid, a safety free agent who last played for the Carolina Panthers, also criticized the union, and his lawyers wrote to the Players Association demanding an explanation.

In May, union president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns said the NFLPA’s 11-person Executive Committee and senior executives from retired players are re-examining changes in total and permanent disability benefits to “meet our commitment to all of our members. “He said the group has” a responsibility to review issues we missed out on “.

In July, two former players receiving these benefits, Aveion Cason, a running back who played eight seasons, and Don Majkowski, a quarterback for 10 years, sued the league and players’ union and medical board of those facilities for joint control agree to reduce their lifetime disability benefits.

It is unclear which company will cover the continued benefits for three more years. However, lawyers representing former players who criticized the union for its willingness to cut benefits for former players said the union leadership should be commended for drawing up an extension.

“They deserve recognition because after an extraordinarily competitive negotiation and concessions, it is not easy to delay it until it is resolved,” said Brad Sohn, who represents numerous former players. “I’ve talked to families who were really stressed about it and now they can breathe easier.”