The NFL hasn’t been very lenient with regard to the New Orleans Saints and the bounty allegations. Most assume that it has everything to do with former players health concerns, namely concussions. The lawsuits are forming and now include a couple of guys who could still be members of the Cleveland Browns had they not washed out of the league due to injuries.
The newest claim includes two former No. 1 overall picks of the Cleveland Browns: Tim Couch (pictured) and Courtney Brown.
Other plaintiffs include recognizable names like Fred Taylor, Kevin Bentley, Ladell Betts, Gilbert Brown, Ken Dilger, Olandis Gary, Nick Greisen, Willie Middlebrooks, Will Poole, Ike Reese, Joel Smeenge, John Welbourn, Roy L. Williams (the man after whom the horse-collar rule was named), Marcel Shipp, Adewale Ogunleye, and Charlie Frye.
That’s right. Charlie Frye is in now too. This is going to be ugly for the NFL. Expect it to drag out a very long time and be especially inclusive of the time period where the NFL is negotiating and signing new TV deals.
It makes sense too, as the effects of concussions can be – and frequently are presumed to be – ongoing. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out because the NFL is almost definitely going to be found at least partially liable. Simultaneously, based on my unscientific research it seems like the general public also feels as if players should take some responsibility for knowingly taking on some risk for large contractual rewards.
We’ll see how the courts decide.