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Developing Story

There's more than one way to reach the NFL
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IN DECEMBER, REPORTS surfaced that a developmental league made up of unsigned NFL veterans would take place this spring, and last week brought news of a new league to develop players who did not suit up after high school. The Pacific Pro League was founded by Don Yee, Tom Brady's agent; retired receiver Ed McCaffrey; and former Fox Sports executive Jeff Husvar, and the board includes coach Mike Shanahan, former VP of NFL officiating Mike Pereira and ESPN's Adam Schefter. The idea—creating a path to the NFL that does not require college—is not a new one. At least two other developmental leagues exist. Here's how they stack up.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

PACIFIC PRO LEAGUE

RIVALS

GRIDIRON

FIRST GAME

2018

2012

2010

WHERE

Southern California

Detroit (four teams), Miami (four)

East Coast to Midwest

SEASON

Summer

Detroit, spring; Miami, fall

Spring and summer

PLAYERS

High school grads, younger than 22 years old

18 and older

Post--high school

TEAMS

Four

Eight

32 (although it varies)

GAMES

Eight

8--10

Eight

ROSTER

50 players per team

45--60 players per team

60--80 players per team

SALARY

$50,000 per year plus community college tuition

$500 to $1,500 per game; performance-based for rookies

Varies (not everyone gets paid)

FOUNDERS

Yee, McCaffrey, et al.

Quentin Hines

Charles Thompson

CFL ALUMNI

N/A

Keith Franklin, Roughriders, RB

Tyron Carrier, Alouettes, WR

NFL ALUMNI

N/A

None

Delvin Breaux, Saints, CB