Kevin Mawae: Concussion settlement is ‘hush money’

Kevin MawaeMany former NFL players may have been satisfied with the settlement reached between themselves and the league for the concussion lawsuit, but Kevin Mawae feels much differently.

The former eight-time All-Pro center and president of the NFLPA voiced his dissatisfaction with the settlement on Thursday. To Mawae, the big win for the league is that they were able to settle with the players without going through the discovery process, which could have revealed some damaging information.

Here’s what Mawae wrote on his blog:

The players involved in the lawsuit will get a share, but really, other than the guys who are in a physically or financially critical situation, will less than $100k really change most of the guys life, now or in the future?
What the players lost is the ability to get complete discovery of any and all the information the league had regarding head injuries dating as far back as possible. That info has now been securely locked away tighter than Coca Cola’s original recipe and won’t be touched until one or more guys files an individual lawsuit…tough thing to do individually against a multi-Billion dollar corporation.

The NFL doesn’t have to say anything, admit any wrong doing, or even apologize…the same league that once called players ‘cattle’ and themselves the ‘herders’ have just put the herd back into the pen.

Mawae also told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that he considered the $765 million settlement to be “hush money” and a big relief for the owners. He’s probably right about that. There was some concern that the lawsuit could literally end the league if the players cleaned out the owners with a settlement, or if too much damaging information was learned in the discovery. Now, the league can just move on and not sweat it. This was a win for the owners, even if it came at a steep price.

Kevin Mawae Turned Down 49ers, Was Never Blackballed

Kevin Mawae is a 16-year NFL veteran who retired last year in September after being unable to find a job. The eight-time Pro Bowl center went so far as to accuse the NFL owners of blackballing him, believing that his status as the NFLPA’s president made teams unwilling to offer him a job. His exact quote on the radio last April was “It’s kind of befuddling to me that I just came off my eighth Pro Bowl and a 16-game season and I can’t get one phone call.”

At the time Mawae said that it may have been true, but that’s not the case. Speaking to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, Mawae said that he was offered a job with the San Francisco 49ers in August but decided not to sign with them. “It was a four-hour flight (each way) for a six-month season,” Mawae explained “I was going to be the starter, a team leader and coach on the field. All this — and it was for a one-year minimum (salary). Now, minimum for my age ($860,000) was really, really good. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth leaving my family.”

When Mawae announced his retirement in September, he said he got one offer but it came too late and he decided to turn it down. Now we know it was the 49ers that offered him the job. Also, his comment that the Niners wanted him to be a leader proves the point that teams care about winning more than player-owner beef. If that were such a factor, he wouldn’t have been offered a gig to come in and be a leader.