The NFL partnered with a group of well-known retired players Monday to announce the creation of a $42 million “common good fund” designed to benefit former players in their lives away from the game.

The fund was part of a settlement reached after a class-action lawsuit was filed seeking compensation for the use of retired players’ images in NFL Films footage. As part of the agreement, the NFL will contribute the money, which will be used to provide various forms of assistance to retired players — including medical, housing and career transition assistance.

“It’s a new day,” said former Baltimore Colt and current Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. “Fortunately it’s better late than never. I am honored that this day has arrived. I am very grateful it’s here.”

Unlike player pensions — which are only activated once an athlete has played three seasons in the league — any player who has ever been on an NFL roster is eligible to receive assistance from the common good fund, regardless of years of service.

The settlement also establishes a first-of-its-kind licensing agency dedicated to managing the publicity rights of retired players. This agency will be overseen by a seven-member board of former players and will help contribute to the fund in perpetuity. The league will also provide financial and promotional support to the agency.