The news recently broke that Dan Marino had decided to join a lawsuit against the NFL along with 14 former players filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia over the issue of concussions and the NFL alleging hiding information about their damaging effects. The move caught people's attention both due to Marino's fame as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and the fact that he had been consistently rumored to be interested in joining the Miami Dolphins front office in some capacity.
Negotiations between Marino and the Dolphins have allegedly stalled over how much actual power Marino would wield, with the Dolphins preferring that Marino serve in more of a "figurehead" role but Marino wanting to have some authority and influence, perhaps hoping to build a resume that leads to an eventual front office gig like fellow Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, who serves as Denver Broncos General Manager and Executive Vice President.
Given that fact, it seemed to be a strange move for a man hoping to join an team's front office to actively launch a lawsuit against the league about the potential harmful effects of playing football. The primary job of members of an NFL franchise front office is to recruit talent, and it would have been tough for Marino's lawyers to argue that their client felt playing in the NFL was harmful if Marino accepted a job that asked him to recruit people to play for an NFL team.
Today, the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde reports that Marino intends to withdraw from the lawsuit and had never intended to participate in a new lawsuit. According to Hyde, Marino hired the law firm to get legal advice on how to ask for medical benefits in case he began suffering from chronic neurological disease that could be linked to the concussions he suffered as an NFL player, but he never granted permission for them to use his name in a lawsuit.
Former Packers GM and current media contributor Andrew Brandt then offered interesting insight on how this could have happened:
Was told Marino had been client of plaintiffs' firm "7-8 months". Firm just filed for clients who signed contracts but had not filed.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) June 3, 2014
Based on Hyde's and Brandt's reports, it looks like Marino looked to hire a lawfirm in order to prepare for him potentially being diagnosed with neurological disease down the road. Meanwhile, according to Brandt, the lawfirm decided to launch a lawsuit against the NFL listing all of their clients without necessarily asking each client if they were willing to attach their name onto a lawsuit. That's how this situation could have developed without Marino's consent and would explain why he's withdrawing his name so quickly.
6:45 PM Update: Marino has withdrawn from the lawsuit and released the following statement to the Miami Herald, per Armando Salguero:
"Within the last year I authorized a claim to be filed on my behalf just in case I needed future medical coverage to protect me and my family in the event I later suffered from effects of head trauma. In so doing I did not realize I would be automatically listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL. I have made the decision it is not necessary for me to be part of any claims or this lawsuit and therefore I am withdrawing as a plaintiff effective immediately. I am sympathetic to other players who are seeking relief who may have suffered head injuries. I also disclaim any references in the form complaint of current head injuries."