But O’Neil, a retired football coach, is not celebrating. His son, Keith, a former linebacker who played four years with the Dallas Cowboys and the Indianapolis Colts, will see his N.F.L. disability payments decline, another provision of the new labor deal that stipulates that next year about 400 former players on total and permanent disability will see the amount they receive decline by the value of their Social Security disability benefits. Keith O’Neil, who received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes in 2010, will get $2,339 less per month.
“It makes me bittersweet because I’m thankful for what I’m getting but I can’t in the pit of my stomach see how they can take away from players who are permanently disabled,” Ed O’Neil said from his home in Pendleton, N.Y., about 20 miles east of Niagara Falls. “Where is the thought process of taking away from guys who can’t work?”
Every negotiation — particularly sprawling labor agreements between a $15 billion league and more than 2,000 players — is a give-and-take. This deal, which was approved by just 60 votes on March 15, had plenty of trade-offs, too, most notably the players agreeing to add a 17th regular-season game in return for an additional percentage point, up to 48 percent, of the league’s revenue.
Source - The New York Times