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Most would assume that any wide receiver that entered the league in 1999 and has 11 career receptions probably hung up his cleats long ago. Not so fast, my friend. Sean Morey, the former Steeler, is still collecting and NFL paycheck and playing at a Pro Bowl level on special teams, as his 2008 trip to Hawaii would confirm. But this modern-day Steve Tasker was in the news recently for some intriguing off-the-field news: he's donating his brain to the Boston University med school program that's studying brain injuries.

If this story sounds familiar, it is. Former Penguin Noah Welch pledged his brain last year, and was joined by NFL alums Frank Wycheck and Ted Johnson. This year, Morey will be joined in his pledge by Baltimore's Matt Birk and Seattle's Lofa Tatupu.

The issue at hand is concussions, and it's one that has really gained some momentum and come to the forefront as of late. Carson Palmer was quoted recently as predicting a player's death as a result of the size and speed of players, and he's probably not far off. The players are bigger, stronger, and faster, and the collisions are more violent than ever. Over the course of a career, this will undeniably have an effect on a player's well-being. The question is how much, and generous donors like Morey can do nothing but assist in finding more information.

We like to think of players as interchangeable and disposable, but their career choice means a lot of abuse to their bodies. Talk to a former player sometime about what his life is like post-NFL. Yes, they signed up for it and they were well-compensated, but for many the quality of life takes a drastic drop. It's a huge price to pay for all that cash - something many don't consider until well after the fact.

Sean Morey: NFL needs to aid brain, concussion research [Boston Herald]

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