The NFL Today’s Charley Casserly reported today on the CBS pre-game show that Commissioner Roger Goodell held a “historic meeting” this past week with retired players to discuss the distribution of the $620 million Legacy Fund created by the league’s new collective bargaining agreement.
Casserly reported that Pro Football Hall of Famers Carl Eller (Retired Players Association), Willie Lanier (Hall of Fame Foundation) and Ron Mix (Hall of Fame Foundation) attended the meeting Thursday with Bruce Laird (Fourth and Goal) and George Martin (NFL Alumni Association). The views of Mike Ditka (Gridiron Greats) were expressed by the commissioner who had met with Ditka one-on-one earlier in the month on the same issue.
Commissioner Goodell and Jeff Pash, the NFL’s general counsel, will meet next with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the union to work toward a final agreement on how to distribute the fund.
The additional dispersal of money to approximately 2,500 players who played in the league before 1993 and who already receive an NFL pension will begin shortly after that agreement is reached.
NFL INSIDER CHARLEY CASSERLY
CBS NFL TODAY
James Brown: “A lot of retired players have been complaining about benefits. What is the NFL doing about this matter?”
Charley Casserly: “I learned that this past Thursday Commissioner Goodell had a confidential meeting with the most vocal leaders of the retired players’ groups. At the meeting were Bruce Laird, Ron Mix, Willie Lanier, Carl Eller, and George Martin. Mike Ditka was not at the meeting, but had input to the meeting. To me, this is a historic meeting, because it is the first time retired players have been able to meet with the league and have a voice in how the hundreds of millions of dollars will be distributed to the players in the pension fund, both their peers and the players who helped make this league great. The final note here is that the next step is for Commissioner Goodell to meet with the NFLPA — who was invited to the meeting but did not attend — to make a final determination of how the money is going to be split up.