The NFL and more than 4,500 retired players reached a proposed $765-million settlement of concussion-related lawsuits, a court-appointed mediator announced Thursday.

Former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips announced the parties have agreed to a deal that would end the litigation against the NFL and NFL Properties and provide medical and other benefits, as well as compensation to qualifying injured players and their families.

“This is a historic agreement, one that will make sure that former NFL players who need and deserve compensation will receive it, and that will promote safety for players at all levels of football,” Phillips said in a written statement.

“Rather than litigate literally thousands of complex individual claims over many years, the parties have reached an agreement that, if approved, will provide relief and support where it is needed at a time when it is most needed.”

Jeff Pash, the NFL’s top attorney, said: “This agreement lets us help those who need it most and continue our work to make the game safer for current and future players.  Commissioner Goodell and every owner gave the legal team the same direction:  do the right thing for the game and for the men who played it.

“We thought it was critical to get more help to players and families who deserve it rather than spend many years and millions of dollars on litigation.  This is an important step that builds on the significant changes we’ve made in recent years to make the game safer, and we will continue our work to better the long-term health and well-being of NFL players.”

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