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Report: Players originally asked NFL for $2B in concussion settlement

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The common consensus from the NFL's concussion lawsuit settlement was that the players were smart to get a deal but that they didn't exactly hit the jackpot with their $765 million global payment. That logic is only further backed up if the money is, as reported, less than half as much as they originally wanted.

ESPN reported Saturday night that the players, once mediation began, "demanded slightly more than $2 billion to settle the case."

The NFL, as we know by now, declined to settle at that number. According to "Outside the Lines" the league told the players' attorneys it would prefer to gamble on the case at trial.

That's likely because the NFL was confident the entire case wouldn't come down to a courtroom.

A source told OTL that the majority of the players' case "real danger of being dismissed," which would've been a huge blow for a large group that desperately needed an influx of cash for personal healthcare.

The momentum in the case wasn't completely headed the league's way, though. ESPN reports that Judge Anita Brody also told the league that "at least part of the case was likely to survive" as it headed to trial.

Hence the league's willingness to settle for what is, in a vacuum, a very large amount of money. The NFL's confidence level in winning the case was reasonably irrelevant given the biggest nightmare available to them: discovery.

The league had to fear the possibility that team doctors would be compelled to testify or that records from an era where things operated differently would be revealed in the course of the trial proceeding.

The players, of course, feared receiving nothing. And though they at one point believed it was possible to receive $2 billion from the league, the fact that they eventually settled for less than half of what they wanted at the start of mediation indicates pretty clearly how the case was progressing from a legal standpoint.

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