Judge Anita Brody has given preliminary approval to the revised concussion settlement between the NFL and former players, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. It's the second time the settlement has been in front of Brody, but the first was rejected over concerns the $675 million settlement wouldn't cover all potentially eligible players.
The league removed the cap on the potential benefits to be paid to players who qualified under the settlement. That's the biggest difference between the old and new proposal. This is preliminary approval, which means that the league will now move to put the settlement in place and inform the former players and their representation of its terms. Players can opt out of things on an individual basis if they choose.
"We are grateful to Judge Brody for her guidance and her thoughtful analysis of the issues as reflected in the comprehensive opinion she issued today," NFL senior vice president Anastasia Danias said in a statement on behalf of the league. "We will work with plaintiffs' counsel to provide notice to the class and implement the settlement terms as provided in the Court's order."
The plaintiffs in the case said they are pleased with the court's approval, via Albert Breer:
"This is an extraordinary settlement for retired NFL players and their families - from those who suffer with neuro-cognitive illnesses today, to those who are currently healthy but fear they may develop symptoms decades into the future. We have received overwhelming support from the retired player community as they learn more about the guaranteed benefits and long-term security this settlement provides, and we look forward to soon finalizing this agreement."
This settlement still needs final approval, which will also come down to Brody in the end, but that won't be until players have had a chance to opt out of the settlement. It stands to reason that a massive amount of players opting out could cause her to change her mind, but there's no reason to suspect that will happen.