Seau Lawsuits Merged With Concussion Litigation
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2012 file photo, Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Oakland, Calif. The Arizona Cardinals have acquired Palmer from the Raiders. Palmer, who agreed to rework his contract with the Cardinals, is expected to move into the starting quarterback role for new Arizona coach Bruce Arians. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Philadelphia — Two wrongful-death lawsuits over the suicide of Pro Bowler Junior Seau have been consolidated with NFL concussion litigation in Philadelphia.
A key hearing in the NFL case is set for next week, when lawyers for thousands of former players will try to keep the issue in federal court. The league wants the claims heard in arbitration, under terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
The Seau lawsuits were moved from California, where the 43-year-old linebacker died May 2 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His survivors allege that throughout his career he sustained violent hits that caused traumatic brain injury, depression and ultimately his death.
Seau played for San Diego, Miami and New England during a 20-year career, which ended with his retirement in 2009. He was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, after his death.
Nearly 4,000 former players have filed concussion-related lawsuits, accusing the NFL of hiding the risks of concussions and head injuries and glorifying violence on the field.
“This success comes at a price to the players who make the game great,” Seau’s parents, Tiaina and Luisa Seau, said in their lawsuit.
The other lawsuit was filed on behalf of Seau’s four children. The family is seeking an unspecified monetary amount for compensatory and other damages.
Lawyers involved in the class action litigation also want the league to provide medical monitoring for former players.
The NFL doesn’t plan to comment on the issue until the April 9 court arguments before U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, spokesman Brian McCarthy said yesterday.
Asomugha Joins Niners
San Francisco — Free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha reached agreement on a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers yesterday that could pay him as much as $3 million this year.
Asomugha’s representative, Ben Dogra, said that Asomugha is expected to sign his new deal today.
The contract has no guaranteed money. Asomugha is due to earn a base package of $1.35 million with salary and bonuses, and could make an additional $1.65 million in incentives for playing time, awards such as the Pro Bowl and reaching the playoffs.
Cards Add QB Palmer
Tempe, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals have acquired quarterback Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders.
The Cardinals gave up a conditional 2014 draft pick and swapped one of their sixth-round picks this year for Oakland’s seventh-round selection.
Palmer reworked his contract as part of his move to the desert, agreeing to a two-year deal worth up to $20 million, with $10 million guaranteed.
New Arizona coach Bruce Arians gets a starting quarterback at a bargain basement price.
But at least the Raiders were able to get something for the quarterback rather than just release him. Oakland acquired quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday in a deal that sent two draft picks to the Seahawks.
LB, Coach Pardee Dies
Houston — Jack Pardee, one of Bear Bryant’s “Junction Boys” at Texas A&M who went on to become an All-Pro linebacker and an NFL coach, has died, University of Houston spokesman David Bassity said. Pardee was 76.
Bassity said Monday that Pardee’s son Ted confirmed the death to him.
Pardee’s family announced that he had gall bladder cancer that had spread to other organs and that he had six to nine months to live in November.
Pardee was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
He survived a bout with melanoma when he was 28 and in the middle of his 15-year NFL playing career.
He played six-man football at Christoval High School in west-central Texas, near San Angelo, before moving on to Texas A&M. Bryant became the Aggies’ coach in 1954 and moved their preseason camp to desolate Junction, about 100 miles northwest of San Antonio.
The state endured a severe drought and an historic heat wave that year, but Bryant worked his team through the brutal conditions and refused to allow water breaks in an effort to toughen players. Pardee was one of 35 players who made it through to the end of the 10-day camp without quitting.
Pardee played three seasons at Texas A&M and was the 14th overall pick in the 1957 NFL draft by Los Angeles. He played for the Rams from 1957-64, sat out a year to deal with his melanoma, and played seven more seasons. He finished his playing career with the Washington Redskins in 1973.
He coached in the World Football League for one season before moving on to NFL coaching. He was the Chicago Bears’ head coach from 1975-77. He coached the Redskins from 1978-80 and was fired after Washington went 6-10.
He served as San Diego’s defensive coordinator for one season, then returned to Texas to coach the USFL’s Houston Gamblers.
When the USFL disbanded in 1987, Pardee became the coach at the University of Houston and brought along the fast-paced “Run-and-Shoot” offense that worked well with the Gamblers.
The NCAA levied severe sanctions on the program in 1988, the result of violations committed under previous coach Bill Yeoman. Houston was banned from playing in a bowl game for two years and banned from playing on television in the 1989 season.
But the Cougars led the nation in total offense (624.9 yards per game) and passing offense (511 yards per game) in 1989, and quarterback Andre Ware became the first black quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. Houston finished 9-2 and ranked No. 14 in the nation.
Pardee became the coach of the NFL’s Houston Oilers in 1990, and led the team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. Oilers owner Bud Adams traded star quarterback Warren Moon to Minnesota before the 1994 season, and Pardee resigned after a 1-9 start that year.
His name emerged 13 years later for the Houston job, but the school hired Kevin Sumlin instead. Ted is the color analyst for Houston football radio broadcasts.