Former NFL tight end Frank Wycheck did not stand up and celebrate the NFL's concussion-related settlement with retired players when he heard the terms. In fact, he thinks some former players — including himself — are getting a raw deal.
Wycheck tells the Tennessean that he has suffered migraines, memory loss and depression after an estimated "15 to 25 concussions" over an 11-year career in the NFL as a tight end with the Washington Redskins, Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans.
And Wycheck believes he and other players should not be thrilled with the settlement terms.
“Let’s keep the window dressing off of it as far as having a parade and a standing ovation for it,” Wycheck said. “I know how bad I have been suffering, and I am not eligible to receive a dime.
"I find it hard to believe there will be a lot of guys eligible for it because there’s not a lot of guys worse than me.”
The three-time Pro Bowler and participant in the Music City Miracle, one of the most famous plays in Titans history, is 42 years old and says he is clearly suffering. But Wycheck or any other former player will not be able to collect any settlement payments while they are alive unless they're diagnosed with something such as a form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or ALS.
If Wycheck is suffering from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), which has been detected in the autopsies of several deceased former players, he would not be paid anything while he's alive — rather, his estate would be able to collect after his death.
The concussion settlement was viewed as a step in the right direction and a silent admission of sorts that the NFL knows its former players are suffering. But not all of them, such as Wycheck for now, will be able to collect settlement payments while they are living.
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