New Pacific Pro League Opportunity For The Detroit Lions

A new professional football league is ready to take the field in July of 2018.  The Pacific Pro League will feature players ages 18-22 who are not NFL Eligible and will consist of four teams playing an 8-game schedule according to ESPN.com. It is intended to be a developmental league for players who might not otherwise have an opportunity to reach the NFL. However, the league is not sanctioned by the NFL who plans to kickoff a spring developmental league in April 2017.

The NFL has yet to make an official comment on the new league but normally frowns upon attempts to compete with it’s pro-football monopoly.  That said, the names behind the Pacific Pro League include some recognizable names like former NFL Head Coach Mike Shanahan and former NFL Wide Receiver Ed McCaffery.

“It’ll make sense for a lot of young men and a lot of families,” McCaffrey said. “We’re hoping to provide them with that choice.”

The choice McCaffery is speaking of will ultimately be between the Pacific Pro League and college. Some players may opt to skip college all together for a pay check and greater exposure and NFL style coaching in the new developmental league.  It may also put pressure on the NCAA to revisit their stance on paying college players for their services.

The new league does present an opportunity for the Detroit Lions who need all the help they can get in terms of developing talent.  The operational model for the Pacific Pro-League has not been fleshed out but could offer the opportunity to NFL teams to send players to the league for development, much like a the MLB and NBA version.  This will differ from the NFL’s Spring League that will only feature free agents and prohibit teams from sending players “down” for development.

In fact the Detroit Lions should be among the first of the NFL’s 32 teams to either sponsor or financially support a team for the purpose of developing players. The Pacific Pro League schedule plans to play in late July and August.

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It could present the perfect opportunity for the Lion’s coaching staff to audition more young talent that could contribute to the next seasons roster.  It would also allow the Lion’s to scout high school players and funnel them into the Pacific Pro League for development, much like major league baseball team do.

This new concept could change how players are developed in the NFL.  The Lions have the opportunity to be on the ground floor.  They should take advantage.

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