Sometimes what you see tells a story. Sometimes what you don’t see tells an even bigger one. Both statements are true when it comes to the NFL’s Bert Bell-Pete Rozelle Retirement/Disability Plan.
Players have a very difficult task in qualifying for disability benefits, especially if their injuries are related to their careers, and the most difficult level of all to qualify for is “Active Football,” which means the player became disabled within six months of the end of his career. Often players leave the game injured and think they’ll get better. Often they try to rehab for more than six months before they give up and decide to apply for disability, but should they wait six months and a day after their last game, they’ll be forever locked into a lower benefit tier without extensive litigation and often even when they litigate.