Lions' Raiola has no plans to join concussion lawsuits


More than 1,000 former players are suing the NFL, claiming the league didn't properly protect them from concussions.

One player at the tail end of his career, 33-year-old Lions center Dominic Raiola, doesn't plan to join the party.

After 11 seasons in the NFL, Raiola maintains that physical suffering is expected -- in his words, "common knowledge" -- among those who play the game.

"It's worth it. It's totally worth it," Raiola told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. "This is the best job in the world. I'd never trade it for anything, so I don't know if I could justify suing the league when I'm done, because it's given me up to this point, 11 years. Even though we've lost for 10, it's given me 11 years of fun. I have fun every time I step on the field, and I think that's what it's all about.

"When I'm at home in my rocking chair at 40, I don't think I'm going to be thinking about suing the NFL. I'm going to be thinking about those guys I played with in the locker room and, hopefully, these good years coming up."

Raiola plays in today's NFL, where concussions are of paramount concern. The subject wasn't in vogue when Raiola was drafted out of Nebraska in 2001, but he holds no grudge against the league. In his mind, football players have always known the risks associated with the violent sport they play.