The settlement amount is close to the $28.1 million the NFLPA was ordered to pay after a federal jury in San Francisco ruled in favor of the players in November. . . . .The NFLPA appealed the ruling in February, a move that further angered retired players, who already felt disenfranchised by the union and its previous executive director, Gene Upshaw, who died in August.
The decision to settle and forgo the appeal, reflects a significant change in the union’s relationship with retired players under its new executive directorDeMaurice Smith, who took over in March. The press release reports Smith has made addressing the rift with retired players a priority, on par with the opening of negotiations on the new CBA with the NFL. If nothing else, this action should be public relations coup for the union, which has been roundly criticized for it's unsympathetic treatment of former players, as it heads into CBA negotiations.