"We are eager to move forward with the process of court approval and implementation of the settlement."
-Anastasia Danias, NFL Senior Vice President
The NFL has agreed to a revised settlement with former players who sued the league for concussions and other brain injuries suffered during their time as players, the league announced in a statement. A judge originally declined the initial settlement of $765 million, expressing concerns as to whether it was enough to cover all of the players eligible and potentially eligible going forward.
The biggest change to the revised settlement is an uncapped monetary fund. Such a fund would eventually dry up, which would leave players who might have been depending on it with nothing to fall back on. Now, the fund is not restricted by a hard cap. Louis Bien of SB Nation did a good job breaking down everything there is to know about the settlement here.
"The bigger question for football purposes is whether or not [Aldon Smith will] be suspended to start the season."
-David Fucillo, Niners Nation
San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith has a court date set for July 25, where his DUI and weapons possession charges will be addressed. It's unlikely that he's going to receive jail time, which is something we've known throughout this process. Still, Pro Football Talk did cite a source close to the situation that confirmed this, which is always nice to read as a 49ers fan.
Over at Niners Nation, David Fucillo noted that this was expected, but that it hinges on Smith not messing up between now and the court date. In addition, Fucillo says that the more important question when it comes to the on-the-field work is whether or not Smith will receive a suspension from the NFL. Given the multiple issues, it sounds like this is likely to start the season, but given the 49ers-imposed rehab last year, it might be a shorter suspension in the realm of two to four games.
"[Johnny Manziel will] be committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job."
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is used to the spotlight, and seems to enjoy it quite a bit. It's that enjoyment that has led many to question his ability to handle it at the next level, but at least one player familiar with him has his back: former Texas A&M teammate Mike Evans.
Mike Evans, now a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said that Manziel won't "go out at all," during training camp, and that he'll be "committed and devoted and fighting for a starting job," as reported by Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Evans said that he didn't care what Manziel did in college off the field, so long as he was committed to the team.
"With a month left until training camp it's no time for half stepping!"
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been cleared for workouts before training camp, he announced on Wednesday via Instagram. Newton had ankle surgery this offseason and whether he'll be able to make it back in time for training camp has been a popular topic of discussion. Unfortunately, that's all still unclear as Newton did admit that he's not back to 100 percent just yet.
Still, being cleared for workouts is a big deal. He underwent the procedure in March, much to the surprise of many given that he didn't appear limited during the 2013 season. Cat Scratch Reader had a great post with information about the injury and why he needed to get it corrected. Newton is hoping to get off to a strong start next season to earn what is expected to be a sizable contract extension.