Sports law experts had thought the lawsuits might cost the league $1 billion or more if they went to trial. The NFL had pushed for the claims to be heard in arbitration under terms of the players’ labor contract.
The league had also argued that individual teams bear the chief responsibility for health and safety under the collective bargaining agreement, along with the players’ union and the players themselves.
In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other athletes who suffered concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with CTE, including both Seau and Easterling.
While some of those who sued suffered brain ailments, others were worried about future problems and wanted their health monitored.
“I had major concussions myself. Am I on that slippery slope? I don’t know that,” said Strock, a quarterback in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly as a backup to Dan Marino with the Miami Dolphins. “Will this help protect me in the years to come? Yes. That’s what it’s for _ something there in case you need it down the road. Right now, I don’t need it, knock on wood.”
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Associated Press Writer Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, AP National Writer Nancy Armour in Chicago, and AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.