TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Kellen Winslow #82 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers takes the field against the Indianapolis Colts at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Arron Sears has been suffering from psychological problems for more than three years. Now the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard is filing a lawsuit against his former team and the NFL.
Arron Sears was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. The guard made the NFL All-Rookie Team that year, but left the Bucs in 2009 after just 31 games with the club, and has not played in the NFL since.
Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Sears is suing the Buccaneers -- as well as the NFL, helmet manufacturer Riddell and opposing teams -- for negligence and withholding information regarding head injuries and their effects. The lawsuit claims that Sears has suffered from psychological problems for more than three years. The lawsuit alleges that Sears' symptoms, including lack of communication and uncontrollable anger, stem from head trauma.
"Sears has almost total loss of function, is unable to care for himself and cannot take (care) of his day-to-day activities. Further, Arron Sears has extreme displays of temper and anger with the appurtenant risk of causing harm to himself and others."
The suit also says Sears, "sustained repetitive traumatic impacts to his head and concussions on multiple occasions while playing professional football."
Whereas all previous concussion and head trauma lawsuits filed by former NFL players have targeted the league itself, this will be the first such suit that targets specific teams.