Top stories in this week's FPN
I Am The Trust
Listen to former players who have used our services talk about their experiences with our partners and programs.
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Bradie James talks about his years playing with DeMarcus Ware and his current role with the NFLPA
Former Cowboys inside linebacker Bradie James joined San Antonio's ESPN Radio (1250 AM, 94.5 FM) during Super Bowl week. Here are some of the highlights of the interview. You can listen to the whole interview below:

On playing with Demarcus Ware:

James: Personally, I'm upset that he had to leave, as a Cowboys fan and as a former player of the Cowboys, but that's where the business comes in. D-Ware is one of the great guys of the league. He's a gem of the league. You won't find anybody saying anything negative about him. It's not about just him as a person, it's also how he plays and how he approaches the game... You can see his game has carried over to the young guys like Von Miller and Brandon Marshall. Even (Derek) Wolfe, he wasn't even known as a pass rusher until now, because (Ware's) infectious.

On his role with "The Trust":

James: I work with The Trust. The Trust is powered by the (NFL Players Association) and we help guys transition from the league. We offer all kinds of resources and benefits. There are things that are out there that guys aren't taking advantage of and we just point them in that direction. We are a conduit to getting guys healthy and getting their careers going outside of football, once football is over.

The Trust has helped almost 3,000 people. All the benefits that we have -- whether its health, career, learning how to write resumes. A lot of people don't realize that as an athlete, we have been in our same kind of corner for so long, and now it's time to get in that real world.

We have identity crises; I'm suicide-trained because sometimes you have to talk to guys that you haven't talked to in a while and you don't know what you're going to get. People in general get depressed. So you just want to make sure you can be a sounding board for them. It's been more therapeutic for me than them. I'm supposed to be helping them -- more of a counselor -- and they've been helping me. They've motivated me to continue to get out here and talk about what we've been able to do that has been positive. The Trust is really helping guys. It's not THE solution, but it's a big part of the solution.

On the change in his life after football:

James: The other day I was talking to a guy and I was going to Whole Foods... I'm grocery shopping. You know what I used to do? I used to go try to knock people out and hurt folks in front of a lot of people. And I enjoyed that. But now I'm going to get butter and eggs. That's a dramatic change.

For more of the article click here

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Former San Francisco 49er Ricky Watters helps raise awareness for foster youth
By Joyce Tsai
OAKLAND -- What was your life like at age 18?
That's the question behind a campaign showcased during Super Bowl 50 to raise awareness for youths who "age out" of the foster care system when they turn 18.

A group of NFL players and celebrities is working with Oakland-based nonprofit First Place for Youth to launch its "When I Was 18" crowdfunding campaign by taping their own stories. The nonprofit received a $500,000 Game Changer grant from the NFL's Super Bowl 50 Host Committee to help foster youths make the transition into the adult world, which can often happen abruptly, with no safety net.

About 26,000 foster youths across the country age out of the foster care system every year, about 6,000 of them from California, more than the other top three states combined, said Sam Cobbs, executive director of First Place for Youth. He said there's a huge correlation between homelessness and the foster care system because of a lack of transitional support. The kids are forced into adulthood and survival mode overnight, and more than 65 percent of young people transitioning out of foster care will ultimately end up homeless or at risk of homelessness, he said.

"I don't think there are many people, regardless of whatever home you grew up in, who are prepared to make it on their own at the age of 18," Cobbs said.

"They don't get a chance to test and experiment, like college students do," he said.

The agency provides housing, education and employment assistance, as well as intensive emotional support to shepherd former foster youths out of homelessness.

Tony Goldwyn, star of the TV series "Scandal," recalled in his videotaped segment how exciting a time it was at age 18.
"I could be sent to war, I can vote, I even can drink," he reminisced. "And I did some really, really stupid things. As an 18-year-old, I never really looked much beyond the next couple hours, whether it was a girl I was interested in or an adventure before me."

By contrast, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who had been shuttled from home to home as a foster kid, said he felt unnoticed, unseen.

"When I was 18, I felt like I was invisible coming from the foster system," he said. "I had a single mother, no father. I felt like no one was watching me. Bounced around from home to home, it's tough. ... Your trust level is different."

Retired San Francisco 49er and Super Bowl champion Ricky Watters, who was adopted, has mentored foster youths for the past 20 years. He was at the Oaklandish store in downtown Oakland earlier this week to promote the campaign.

"These aren't bad kids," he said. "They've just been dealt a bad hand, and we need to rally around that. ... They can do anything they put their mind to. And they have so much to give, when given that chance."

Jazmyne Newsome, 22, whose father died when she was 1 and mother died of cancer when she was 5, said that First Place for Youth found her housing when she turned 18 and is helping with education to pursue her dreams to give back to the community, even mentor youths herself someday.

"We are not damaged goods. We are survivors at the end of the day," she said. "But we still need help. ... We need that support system."

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Former NFL Players attend South Dakota’s Largest Super Bowl Party
Top: Ron Hallstrom Middle: Rich Moran Bottom: John Dutton
By: Tessa Thomas

It's the largest tailgate party in South Dakota and it just so happens to take place in the City of Deadwood.
People from all over the Black Hills braved the high winds to participate in Sunday's pre-game festivities.
Mike Trucano says, "We have a new event called the recliner races, where we built some recliners that roll on wheels and take them around the course. We have a chili cook-off, we had over 17 entries in our chili cook-off this year. We're grilling brats, we have football tosses for kids, we have corn hole tournaments and just a lot of fun for the whole family."
South Dakota's Largest Tailgate Party began five years ago as a charity event for the American Cancer Society and the Northern Hills Hospice Organization.
And although Sunday's attendance was on the lighter side because of the wind, organizers were hopeful to still raise between $8,000-$10,000.
Trucano says, "It helps our community, it helps the business community, it's a fun thing for the residents of our community and the entire Black Hills to come and join in the events and it raises money for our charity."
John Dutton says, "I just want people to understand what we're raising money for is cancer. Cancer is a terrible disease and we just want to raise as much as we can to get rid of that disease. There's a lot of money raised in the country, but if we have people bring one person with them to this thing it will double our money and everything goes to the charity, nothing goes to anybody else, so we just want people to show up, have a good time and raise some money for cancer."
John Dutton is a former NFL player who started his career in 1974 in Baltimore, then five years later played for the Dallas Cowboys for nine years. Dutton was just one of three former NFL players on hand Sunday, Ron Hallstrom and Rich Moran who played for the Green Bay Packers were also celebrating Super Bowl 50 in Deadwood. Dutton was the first grand marshal for South Dakota's Largest Tailgate Party and has been a part of the event since the beginning.

Dutton is a Rapid City native and says it's good to be back in the Black Hills and although he's true to the team he once played for, as a former NFL player, he has an opinion on the big game.
Dutton says, "Well, I want Denver to win it, I'm a big Peyton Manning fan, I know his dad, Archie, real well because we kind of played against each other, we're the same age and everything, I'm kind of a Peyton Manning fan, I came to win, but I just think the Panthers have just got too much for them."
For video click here
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10 Smart Moves to Make When Nothing's Going Right in Your Life
By Bill Murphy Jr. of Inc.

In the Army, I taught an introductory course on what to do if you became a prisoner of war. I’d start by saying that I hoped this would be the least relevant course the students ever took.

That’s my hope here too—although the truth is, things fall apart in people’s lives all the time. Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, a business—something that makes up the bedrock you’re accustomed to standing on.

Tuesday, it’s there; Wednesday it’s gone. Thursday, you still have to function.

All of which leads us to today’s lesson. When things aren’t going right, how do you keep moving forward? Here are 10 ideas.
1. Nose Down, Do Your Job
The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan is named Preet Bhrara (Disclosure: His brother is the CEO of my company). In a speech a couple of years ago, Preet suggested success involves emulating a line from the movie The Departed:
Be the guy who does his job.
When you don’t know what else to do, that’s a pretty good plan: Strive to be the Steady Eddie that everyone else can count on while you figure out your next step.
2. Look Out for Chances to Be Happy for Other People
Admission time: I get pitched all the time by people who are younger than I am and who are making tons of money. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder: Why wasn’t I the one with an internet startup at age 14?
OK, the strict answer to that is that when I was 14, internet access cost a dollar a minute. The broader point is that you’ll be happier and learn more if you make an effort simply to be happy for others’ successes—and maybe be willing to learn from them as well.
3. Make Connections for Others
An old friend of mine from school is looking for work. It turned out, another friend of mine from a completely different social circle has a connection at a company that my school friend might be perfect for. Will it work out? I don’t know, but making the connection made me feel great.

I think it’s important to take these kinds of steps without looking for any kind of quid pro quo. Personally, I can’t predict the future, but I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever be looking for another full-time job again, so that’s not my motivation here. But helping others in any way helps you take your mind off your own problems.
4. Say Thank You
Chances are you see someone every day who has a thankless job—literally thankless, as in, nobody ever thanks him or her for doing what they do. Maybe it’s the doorman or the bus conductor. If you can’t think of someone who fits the bill, imagine a traffic cop giving parking tickets.

Think about how much it means to that person on the rare occasion when someone actually says, thanks for what you do. Imagine how he’ll feel about you when you’re that person!
5. Prune Your Belongings
I have the zeal of a convert on this one. If a physical thing—clothes, books, papers—doesn’t give you joy, the best thing to do is to give it away. 90% of Americans have 2,000% more stuff than they need—or even want.
(Hat tip, obviously, to the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo)
6. Share Your Knowledge
Nothing makes you feel better or more useful than simply sharing what you know with other people. Much like looking for the North Star when you’re lost, look for chances to teach others when you’re not sure what else to do with yourself.

What do I know? Well, if you want to write a book, write an internet column with a million readers a month, or learn how to run a super-effective marketing campaign on Facebook, email me. (Also, I can teach someone to drive a stick shift and parallel park on a hill like nobody’s business.)
7. Visit Someone
The scarcest commodity any of us has isn’t money; it’s time. That means sharing your time with others is also your greatest gift. The truth is there are people for whom that gift is more precious than you can ever imagine.
We named my baby daughter after my wife’s 90-something grandmother, and one of the most joyous moments we’ve had was bringing her to meet her namesake in the nursing home.
8. Say “I’m Sorry”
You don’t need to go through life guilt-ridden, but there are things we’ve all done to hurt others—intentional or not—that we never got around to apologizing for. Taking that step is always a positive move.

I woke up recently remembering a class in junior high. We had to write stories each week, and I turned a classmate into a recurring character long after it was clear she was not comfortable with the attention. I don’t want to call her out here—even after all these years—but on the off chance she might read it, maybe she’ll remember. If so, I’m sorry!
9. Say “I Forgive You”
Related to the last one, of course, we all have people we need to forgive. Maybe it’s a family member, or a colleague, a friend—or even someone who doesn’t know you well or even know what they did wrong.

In my case, at that same school I was picked on by a group of bigger kids. Decades later, I’m not sure if they’d even remember, but I forgive them. (Caveat: That’s not the same thing as forgetting. You can forgive someone but still never trust them again.)
10. Show Up (A.k.a., Go to the Funeral)
There are moments when other people need you there, and while I’m fortunate not to have had many occasions that fit the bill for this example, showing up at the funeral of someone’s loved ones is at the top of the list.

My friend Griff taught me this lesson, when I went to his father’s wake a decade ago. To my mind—of course I would go. That’s what friends do, no matter what other ways their lives are tangled at the time. Still, to his credit, Griff has never forgotten, and I’m glad it demonstrated how much I valued our friendship.

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You have a new investment choice in the 401k - Target Date Funds. Are they right for you? How do you choose one? Erik has some simple ideas to help you figure out what option is right for you.
Have a financial question? Send it to Ask Financial Finesse.
To learn more about the transition offerings of The Trust, visit their website.

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We are "One Team", built around a fraternity of former NFL Players who are aligned, connected and engaged, working together in life beyond football.

800-372-2000 x132

Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director

Dee Becker
Assistant Director

Lorenzo Kaufman
Senior Manager

Amber Edwards
Membership Services Coordinator

Garrett Wooddell

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Office Hours
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Free Lifetime Membership
Please update your contact information  to earn your free lifetime membership and to learn more about what the Former Player Services Department offers our players. Renew your membership online through your profile page on 

Thank you for your commitment to the union who has fought for, and will continue to fight for, our rare and special fraternity. You can also call Membership Services at 202-756-9165 if you have any membership or internet questions.

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Updated NFLPA FPSD Resource Book!
The new resource book with information on NFLPA Former Player Services, The Trust, the PAF and other important resources is now available to view on your smart phone and tablets. Click this link for easy access. 
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Bahati VanPelt | Executive Director

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Available to answer player benefits and insurance questions.

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Miki Yaras-Davis | Sr. Director
Bethany Marshall | Director
Chris Smith | Asst. Director
Adora Williams | Sr. Manager
Brian Francis | Coordinator

Professional Athletes Foundation

Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust (PAT)
Helping players  in need.

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Andre Collins | Executive Director

Tyrone Allen | Director

Caryl Banks | Manager

Leslie Isler | Coordinator
Learn more about the Football Players Health Study
The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University is now the largest study of its kind. This study will benefit former players for generations to come, let's keep the momentum going! To learn more about the study, click on the video above to watch and go to the website:
Former players can sign up to receive a questionnaire by clicking here.
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.

NFL Player Benefits Office

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NFL Benefits Office for T&P, Disability, Plan 88, pension, second career, annuity and other benefits filing.

Former Player Life Improvement Plan

Joint replacement, discount prescription card, assisted living and more.
Off the Field is the national football player wives association 
Click HERE for more information on Off The Field Players' Wives Association

Membership Rewards

ONE TEAM Shop is the official online store of the NFLPA, and features name and number product for EVERY current player.  Former players be sure to check the Member Benefits section of for your 30% discount code.
Former player members receive a 20% discount on purchases at NFLShop and 877-NFL-SHOP
Links Unlimited provides 20% to former player members.
Save 40-50% through Callaway Golf's VIP Program. Email your name and email address to We will set up your online account so you can begin shopping immediately.
Union Plus is brought to you by Union Privilege, established by the AFL-CIO to provide consumer benefits to members and retirees of participating labor unions. Learn More

Transition Resources

Featured Partners

Athlife provides assistance to former players with all aspects of their education goals and helps players develop degree completion plans that allow flexibility to not return to campus or transfer. 

All former players are eligible with an NFLPA Former Player Membership. (Former players with 2+ credited seasons are eligible through The Trust.)

To access the membership benefits of Athlfe, please call:
(202) 756-9132.
The YMCA believes in strengthening individuals and communities. With a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, the Y has the reach and ability to help you transition to life off the playing field.

All former players are eligible with an NFLPA Former Player Membership. (Former players with 2+ credited seasons are eligible through The Trust.)

To access the free YMCA membership, call today:  
(202) 212-6188

Health Partners

Mayo Clinic would like to reach out to invite former player members to receive a proactive comprehensive heart health evaluation at one of their locations.  Schedule an appointment by contacting Elva Ortiz (Program Coordinator) at or call 480-301-8216
If you and your family do not have health insurance, the NFLPA is proud to recommend Working America Health Care.  In collaboration with GoHealth, Working America Health Care offers you:
  • information about health care law
  • an easy way to shop for health insurance
  • the lowest rates available
Don't sit on the bench and miss out on this unique opportunity.

Call 800-907-8683 or visit the NFLPA specific website.

Business Mentoring

With over 13,000 volunteers in 347 chapters, SCORE has the expertise you need to succeed.

Use the Chapter Locator to find a SCORE office near you and request a free face to face mentoring meeting.


The NFLPA has partnered with Penn State World Campus to support the educational needs of NFLPA members. The World Campus offers more than 100 accredited graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors.

Penn State ranked as the No. 1 institution in the nation for producing the best-prepared, most well-rounded graduates who are most able to succeed once hired, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

Penn State World Campus offers NFLPA members a tuition reduction benefit for all degree and certificate programs. Learn more about how you can receive a top-quality education, completed at your convenience, from one of the world’s most renowned universities. 
The NFLPA has partnered with the University of Phoenix to provide former player members with educational opportunities that can provide you with skills and knowledge to help you excel.  To learn more , visit our University of Phoenix member page.
American Public University (APU_ and the NFLPA have teamed up to offer former player members flexible and affordable online degree programs and career services.

Former player members also have access to a variety of career services, including career coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as university-sponsored job boards and career fairs.

Visit APU's former player website for more information.

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Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director, Former Player Services
NFL Player 1991 - 2000
Twitter: @nolanharrison74

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