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.
After eight playoff-less seasons with the Rams, Chris Long came to his father's hometown town -- the Patriots -- in 2016 with one goal: To win a championship. And he did, even though he wasn't an every-down player for the first time in his career.
Now his goal is to play regularly again. So he's headed to the city where his father played collegiately -- Philadelphia -- to try and make that happen.
Long, 32, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long (a Charlestown native and Villanova product), signed a two-year contract with the Eagles Tuesday:
CSN Philly reports that Long isn't guaranteed a starting job on the Eagles' defensive line, but will be a valuable addition in any case:
The Eagles had a definite need -- and likely still do -- at defense end following the departure of Connor Barwin. . . . This signing doesn't mean Long will come in and start. The Eagles still have Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry under contract. But, at the very least, this is a depth signing to bring in a veteran locker room presence, like the one they lost when Barwin left.
Long had four sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games for New England and was an integral part of a defense that allowed an NFL-low 250 points.
The New England Patriots first took a stand against domestic violence in 1996, when Myra Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, convinced the team to release recent draftee Christian Peter, who had four convictions for assaulting women while playing at the University of Nebraska.
That stand continues to this day.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported Wednesday that Robert Kraft said the team will not draft Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was seen on video punching a woman in the face in 2014. He was suspended by the Sooners for a season because of the incident.
The Herald quoted Kraft as saying: “While I believe in second chances and giving players an opportunity for redemption, I also believe that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. For me, personally, I believe that privilege is lost for men who have a history of abusing women.”
The Dolphins have also said they won't draft Mixon, who is the most talented running back availabile in the draft. The Pats could soon be looking for help at the position, as James White and Dion Lewis are both in the final years of their contracts and they signed Rex Burkhead to just a one-year deal.
But Mixon won't be the answer to those problems.