NFL Lockout: Retired Players Join Talks As Lockout End Nears

Each piece of news coming out of the NFL labor negotiations brings us one step closer to ending the NFL lockout as different issues are resolved. The latest news has several retired players joining with player and owner representatives on Tuesday. This is significant because of their own lawsuit against the owners and players. The retired players have been working to get a bigger piece of the pie in recognition of their contributions in building the game.

Recent developments have the new CBA providing nearly $1 billion in additional benefits to retired players through what is called a Legacy Fund. This includes $620 million in pension increases, long-term care insurance and disability programs. Funding will come from both the players and owners, with the owners providing a slightly larger share.

This was a key issue for DeMaurice Smith who apparently told players before he was elected that "I'm not your guy if you don't fulfill moral obligation." While television money has only greatly increased over the last couple decades, the idea is that long since retired players built this league into what it has become and deserve compensation accordingly.

The players presence at the meetings is likely to secure a final approval on this portion of the CBA as well as work out the details of settling the retired players lawsuit. There are numerous legal actions currently ongoing and each needs to be settled as the sides work towards a global settlement.

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