If history has proved one thing with professional football, it's that no other entity has been able to compete with the NFL. Over the years, leagues like the USFL and the XFL have tried, but they both eventually went down in flames.
That's why Don Yee, the agent of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, has decided to try something new. Yee and several partners announced Wednesday that they'll be launching the Pacific Pro Football League sometime in the next 12 months.
The catch with this league is that it won't be competing with the NFL for players. It will be going after college players who aren't yet eligible to play in the NFL. For a college player to move on to the NFL, they have to be at least three years removed from high school.
Due to that rule, a college player really has no other options if he wants to play football during what would be his freshman, sophomore or junior year. However, Yee's new league will give these players an alternative to college football, and the thing that might entice potential players the most is that the new league will pay them.
The plan behind the new league is to launch in the summer of 2018 with four teams based in Southern California. Each of those four teams would play eight games on Sundays through July and August. The teams would also have roughly 50 players on their roster.
According to the league, players would make an average salary of roughly $50,000 and they would be able to train and practice year round, which players can't do in college due to NCAA rules that limit practice time.
"Pac Pro Football players will be paid as professionals, treated as professionals, and trained as professionals," Yee said in a statement. "Our players will be taught how to be better at their craft, and how to understand and execute their responsibilities as professionals. Professional football is a different game than amateur football, and Pac Pro players will learn and practice those techniques. Better trained players will lead to a better product, and thus, higher quality football players."
Yee also added that the players in his new league will have a chance to further their education because the new league will pay for one year of school at a local community college.
"Pac Pro's concept of 'education' is expansive," Yee said. "Every team will have a counselor to help players develop their interests academically and/or vocationally, and assist with coordinating meaningful internships in their fields of interest."
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to launching a new football league is cost. It's not cheap to pay for equipment, insurance or to pay players and coaches a salary.
According to Yee, the league will be funded the same way that an internet startup gets funded: With angel investors.
In a statement, the league said that it closed its angel round of financing and has commenced discussions with content distributors, sponsors, facilities, and local political leaders.
To help get the league off the ground, the PPFL has put together an advisory board that includes two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan, former NFL senior vice president Jim Steeg, former NFL VP of officiating Mike Pereira and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.