The $1 billion NFL concussion settlement -- nearly six years in the making yet still to deliver a penny to former players and their families for brain injuries stemming from football -- is revealing the underbelly of the legal system to former players and their families.

As they finally close in on being compensated for brain injuries stemming from football, those former players and their families have been facing an onslaught of issues -- from attorney retainer fees that could reach as high as 40 percent to lawyers poaching clients from competing attorneys; from a slew of opportunists seeking a piece of the pie to lawyers effectively threatening to sue former players to ensure they get their fees.

"This case has done nothing but show lawyers at their worst," said lawyer Jason Luckasevic, a Pittsburgh attorney who filed the first concussion-related case against the NFL in 2011 and represents about 500 former players.

Said another attorney, who spoke to Outside the Lines only on the condition of anonymity: "It's a feeding frenzy right now. It's dirty out there, and I don't like it. I have to shower twice a day."

In 2011, Luckasevic and two other lawyers filed the first of what would become hundreds of lawsuits brought by thousands of former players and their families, alleging that the NFL had concealed the link between football and brain damage. A settlement was announced in 2013; however, initial concerns by the judge overseeing the settlement about its adequacy and a series of objections kept the case from being finalized until just a few months ago.