By Bill Bradley, contributing editor
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in one of his first interviews since the league's $765 million concussion lawsuit settlement with ex-players last week, said helping retirees in a speedy manner became the No. 1 priority in ending litigation.
"It was important to us to get the help to players ... as soon as possible," Goodell told Andrea Kremer, NFL Network's chief health and safety correspondent, on Wednesday while the NFL unveiled the next stage of the Head Health Challenge in Baltimore. "If we had litigated these issues, it probably would have been 10 or 12 years down the road. A lot of money would have gone to attorneys.
"Let's put a fund together that's going to help players and help their families. That's what we've created, and that's a good thing for the players and the families. But I think it's a good thing for the game."
Goodell told Kremer it was important for the NFL not to admit guilt in a settlement because the league doesn't believe it is guilty of the concussion negligence that was alleged in the lawsuit.
"We don't believe this is necessarily caused by football," he said. "But we all want to do what's right for the players.
"What we wanted to do was create that fund that would allow players that are having cognitive diseases, no matter what the cause -- cause is not the issue for us -- to get them help."