The National Football League has agreed to pay $765 million to settle lawsuits by former players over head injuries, it was announced Thursday.
The proposed global settlement, which was hashed out during court-ordered mediation, would compensate injured players and fund medical exams and research.
Dozens of lawsuits covering more than 4,500 ex-players have accused the league of glorifying the violence of the sport while ignoring the health risks and failing to warn players that repeated concussions could cause brain damage or leave them prone to depression and suicide.
The plaintiffs, who also sued helmet maker Riddell, argued the NFL should pay for the care of players suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions.
The litigation included the deaths of former San Diego Charger Junior Seau and ex-Atlanta Falcon Ray Esterling, who killed themselves in 2012, and Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bear who committed suicide in 2011.
The NFL had denied any coverup and said the issue should be dealt with in collective bargaining agreements, not the courts.
"From the outset of this litigation, I have expressed my belief that the interests of all parties would be best served by a negotiated resolution of this case," Judge Anita Brody wrote in her announcement of the proposal.
"The settlement holds the prospect of avoiding lengthy, expensive and uncertain litigation, and of enhancing the game of football."
The NCAA, meanwhile, is still trying to negotiate a deal to settle a separate case that could involve thousands of college athletes.
Note: The injured players are represented by attorney's with the Provost-Umphrey law firm.