Tom Brady's agent starting a league for non-NFL-eligible players


Tom Brady's agent starting a league for non-NFL-eligible players

Tom Brady's agent, Don Yee, and former NFL wideout Ed McCaffrey have founded a new professional football league for players who have graduated high school but aren't yet in college and are not NFL-eligible. 

It's called the Pacific Pro League, and it plans to hire players this winter for games that will occur in the summer of 2018. It will be a four-team league, with 50 players per team, based in Southern California that projects it will pay players an average salary of $50,000 for eight games. Players will also receive paid tuition and books at local community colleges, according to a statement sent out by the league. 

"We're hoping to do a good job developing players for pro football," Yee told Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports, "as well as helping them find a path for life outside of football."

The idea is to give football players that have graduated high school -- but haven't been out of high school for three years -- an opportunity to train professionally. 

"In every other sport you can think of, even global sports, young and emerging talent is about to be professional directly from high school or even younger," Yee told Vice. "The only outlier is football. I felt it should no longer be an outlier."

The Pacific Pro League's advisory board includes former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, former NFL official and current analyst for FOX Mike Pereira and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”