Tom Brady is chasing an NFL-record fifth Super Bowl victory, but his agent also has an ambitious goal in sight.
Don Yee, who has represented the New England Patriots quarterback for his entire career, is spearheading the launch of Pacific Pro Football, a developmental league consisting entirely of college-aged players that will give players coming out of high school another option besides the NCAA.
“Pac Pro,” founded by Yee and former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, is set begin play in July 2018, Yee said in a recent interview with Vice Sports. The Southern California-based league will start with just four 50-player teams, but Yee is promising an average player salary of $50,000. All players must be fewer than four years removed from high school.
“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 Sports when asked about his inspiration for starting Pac Pro. “The only outlier is football. I felt it should no longer be an outlier.”
Pac Pro will be unique in that it will directly compete with colleges for players, unlike the failed XFL and USFL, which poached players from the NFL. So, will the league actually attract any talent? It just might, as long as the NCAA continues not to pay its players and forces them to spend at least three seasons in school before going pro.
Yee also has some pretty big names on his side — former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, ex-NFL official and FOX analyst Mike Pereira and ESPN’s Adam Schefter all are on the league’s advisory board.
“If every player feels it was a good and fair experience, the league will be successful, whether we stay at four teams or eventually expand to eight, 12, or 16 teams,” Yee added. “We feel this is model of the future.”
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