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Why NFL Players and Teams Consider Injury Settlements

Camp Notes Why NFL Players and Teams Consider Injury Settlements

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As the Ravens patiently wait to see if Jameel McClain will be medically cleared to return to the practice field, a potential injury settlement with the Ravens linebacker has to at least be in the back of Ozzie Newsome’s thoughts and perhaps the notion is working its way to the front of the GM’s cerebral cortex.

To help explain why teams and players sometimes agree on such a settlement, I offer up this from our own Brian McFarland’s 24×7 NFL Glossary. ~ Tony Lombardi


Injury Settlement – In the NFL, an injured player cannot be released. Often a team and player will reach an Injury Settlement in lieu of putting, or keeping, the player on IR for the rest of the season. Once an Injury Settlement is reached, the player is released. This is done when the player has a chance to recover from injury and play again in that season. However, if the player is still under contract for future seasons and the team wants to retain the player’s rights for the future, the team will not agree to an Injury Settlement and instead decide to continue to carry the player on Injured Reserve (IR).

An Injury Settlement is usually based on the amount of time that the team and player agree the player will be unable to play. So, for example, if the player is only expected to miss the first month of the season, the team and player will usually agree to a settlement of 4/17ths of the player’s scheduled base salary. The team then receives a Salary Cap credit of 13/17th of that salary. An Injury Settlement is attractive to both the team and player because it allows the team to create additional Salary Cap space and allows the player an opportunity to catch on with another team and not have to sit out the entire season on IR.

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Brian McFarland

About Brian McFarland

Known on Ravens Message Boards as "B-more Ravor", Brian is a life-long Baltimorean and an avid fan of the Ravens and all Baltimore sports.  A PSL holder since 1998, Brian has garnered a reputation as a cap-guru because of his strange (actually warped) desire to wade through the intricacies of the NFL's salary cap and actually make sense of it for those of us who view it as inviting as IRS Tax Code.      Brian, who hails from Catonsville, MD and still resides there, is married and has two children. More from Brian McFarland


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