Vernon Davis presses Roger Goodell on health care

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Davis took Roger Goodell to task for the NFL's health care policy for players, which doesn't automatically extend lifetime benefits after retirement.

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

Vernon Davis took Roger Goodell to task Friday during the NFL commissioner's press conference ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII. The San Francisco 49ers tight end took the microphone and asked Goodell "why doesn't the NFL offer free healthcare for life, especially for those suffering from brain injury?"

Goodell responded by saying "I think that the health benefits that are provided to current NFL players are the best in the world." One should note that Goodell used the word "current." NBA and MLB players are eligible for lifetime healthcare packages, but NFL health benefits don't extend past five years after retirement if a player has played at least three seasons.

Goodell emphasized that the current benefits package was discussed with the NFL Players Association extensively. A collective bargaining agreement between players and NFL owners was agreed upon in 2011, and the current healthcare plan is an extension of that agreement.

Goodell also mentioned the 88 Plan, which provides lifetime assistance for eligible players suffering from dementia, ALS or Parkinson's disease. The plan provides up to $88,000 per year in assistance, but requires a diagnosis and can't help players who may be suffering from more moderate forms of mental illness that may stem from their playing days.

Considering the violence inherent in football, especially relative to baseball and basketball, it's surprising that the health benefits provided to players aren't more comprehensive. The lack of lifetime benefits may be the fault of the players' union as much as NFL league leadership.

SB Nation's Super Bowl coverage

Spencer Hall: The 23 people at every Super Bowl party

Breaking Madden: The machine is bleeding to death

Steven Godfrey: FBI agents explain Super Bowl security

Stephen White: Breaking down the game's most important matchup

Behind the Boom: The secrets of the Seahawks' secondary

Ufford: Seahawks will win | Rubenstein: Nope, Broncos will

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.