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Colon 'happy' with concussion settlement

8/30/2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets lineman Willie Colon has been around the NFL long enough to know the dire impact concussions have made on the game.

"I've seen guys that have taken some hits and they have slurred speech and you can tell that some of the lights are off," Colon said. "It's because they played for so long. Back in the 'Ironman Days' nobody cared [about head injuries] because they gave you what they gave you to get by and you had to deal with it."

The NFL took a step to distance itself from those "Ironman Days" on Thursday with the announcement of a settlement in a concussion lawsuit brought on by a group of retired players.

The league reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.

Colon didn't have much time to digest the news, but the veteran lineman still saw it as a positive for those affected.

"Now that there's some type of compensation I'm happy," Colon said. "But [to what] extent does it help other guys or future guys? Those that need it obviously were helped."

According to the settlement, $675 million of the $765 million would be used to compensate former players and families of deceased players who have suffered cognitive injury, including the families of players who committed suicide after suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Other money will be used for baseline medical exams. The NFL also will fund research and education.

"Maybe something could be done better to improve it down the road," Colon said. "But, hopefully, this helps."

Added linebacker Calvin Pace: "I guess it was fair. It's good that they'll take care of guys that were affected."