Inside this week's FPN
Dear Brothers,

PAF Executive Director Andre Collins, the PAF staff and the board have done a great job for former players and their families in need. They continue to work to serve the needs of our fraternity and I am very proud of the work they have done to improve lives. It is a privilege to have them as a resource in our department to better serve the players. Here's to another great year in 2017!

Best regards,

Nolan Harrison III
Senior Director
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The first survey has been completed by over 3,200 former players already- but the goal is total participation from the former NFL player community. Help us drive this number to over 3,500 now – and make this the largest health study ever in football before Super Bowl LI.
Sign up to take the first Questionnaire now to join:

More studies will launch and results on the way in 2017!



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Aaron Maybin remembers his mentor: We all should be the next Keion Carpenter
By Aaron Maybin Special to The Baltimore Sun

A lot of the kids running the streets of Baltimore City didn’t grow up in a stable home environment. Many of them attend a school system that is failing them.  They feel berated, belittled and beat down by an aggressive and overzealous police force.  A lot of them are criminalized, colonized and dehumanized by a society that rejects them and blames them for their own oppression and misfortune. A great number of them didn’t have both parents in the home, but in spite of these dark times and their bitter misfortune, they always had Keion.
Keion Carpenter wasn’t an extremely tall man.  He stood 6 feet tall with a slight limp in his step that he usually disguised as a strut.  He had a big endearing smile that he almost always had adorning his face while among friends.  But to the people of Baltimore and almost everyone else who knew him, Keion was a giant.
In a city more known for its crumbling infrastructure, sky-high murder rate, suffocating drug addiction, and drowning levels of poverty, he was the one with the golden ticket.  He overcame every obstacle that faced him to achieve both athletically and academically, earning an athletic scholarship to Virginia Tech, where he played for coach Frank Beamer before graduating in 1999 and fighting his way into the league as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills, where he played for three years.  He then went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons in a six-year NFL career.
Known for his scrappy style of play, blue-collar work ethic, and fearless guts as a hard-hitting defensive back, Keion was well known for his toughness.

Upon retirement, Keion made a decision that would change his life forever, along with the lives of thousands of families and young children whom he would go on to work with through his nonprofit, the Carpenter House. He chose to come home to the city that raised him, and to use his NFL platform and resources to help change the city and the lives of the people in it for the better.
By the time we officially met, he was already four years into establishing his vision of transforming the lives of the people and children of Baltimore City, as well as Atlanta, where he also spent a lot of his time doing community work, establishing sports camps and outreach programs after growing connected to the city and the plight of its people during his playing time there. I was an ambitious but naive 20-year-old college junior, preparing to leave school to enter the NFL Draft in 2009. Assured that the potential millions I was about to make would allow me to completely change the lives of my family and I, along with fixing all the problems of my hometown through my own charity work, Keion was my first real taste of reality on that subject.
“Slow down lil Bro … way down,” he said, interrupting me in the middle of my young arrogant rant, boasting about all the great things I was about to do. “You don’t have any idea how deep the well goes yet when it comes to fixing all that’s wrong with this city and the neighborhoods we come from.”
He explained, “You might think that this check you got coming is enough to change the world bro, I been there.  But what you need to change the world isn’t money, it's what God put in your heart already. … That’s all you need.”
I’ll never forget those words.

Click here for the full article

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Romeo Bandison
Current: HR Recruiter at Compass Behavioral Health (formerly CHA)
Compass Behavioral Health (formerly CHA)  

Education: University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon Area

500+ connections

As a recruiter I get a chance to apply the many lessons I learned in the NFL and college football to today’s real business challenges. Recruiting was a big part of daily routine and we spend a lot of time on uncovering the critical success factors that you can’t measure, by simply asking the right questions.

I was born and raised in the Netherlands and when I had a chance to move US to play high school football I jumped at the opportunity, took a leap of faith and I enrolled at Tamalpais HS in Mill Valley, CA. After 1 year at Tam I received a full athletic scholarship to attend the University of Oregon. After a great experience and successful career at Oregon I was drafted in the 3rd round by Bill Belichick’s Cleveland Browns. I also spend time with the Washington Redskins, a brief stint with the Carolina Panthers and the Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe). After retiring from the NFL I returned back to my alma mater and started my college coaching career, which led to an amazing journey across the US, Canada and Europe.
Athletics has provided me with some very powerful tools that help me succeed in today’s business world.
Team Player – I have the emotional intelligence to work well in all setting with different type of personalities. I work well in high pressure and fast paced environments. I operate best under deadlines with minimal time and with other team members depending on me to do my part.
Work Ethic – I Love The Grind. I enjoy all the little steps in between that gets you to your goal, the process NOT the product. You have to be diligent, be detailed, follow through, execute and finish all tasks. Especially the one that seem small, routine and boring, because those are usually the most fundamental to your success.
Passion – I love being a part of a building process, in athletics or in my job. What motivates me is accomplishing a goal, taking a step back and watching the whole team celebrate after all our hard work and dedication paid off.

Human Resources - Recruiter
Company Name Compass Behavioral Health (formerly CHA)
Dates Employed Mar 2016 – Present
Employment Duration11 mos.
Location Roseburg, OR
Community Health Alliance (CHA) serves adults, children and families. Our caring staff work with our clients to evaluate their needs, offer treatment options, and promote recovery by empowering people to create a real solution in their life. CHA provides and array of effective programs and services.

• Full life cycle recruiting
• Partner with hiring managers/ program directors to determine staffing needs
• Recruit for all staff including administrative, therapists, case managers, skills trainers, and operations
• Screen Incoming resumes
• Phone screen applicants
• Track candidates and update activity in ATS
• Manage internal and external job requisitions
• Verify employment and check references
• Work with hiring manager to ensure compliance with federal and state law, and employment practices 
• Strong knowledge of HIPAA compliance practices

Professional Football Player

Washington Redskins
Dates Employed 1995 – 1997 Employment Duration 2 yrs.
- Played Defensive Tackle and Defensive End

Cleveland Browns
Dates Employed 1994 – 1995
Employment Duration 1 yr.
- Third Round Draft Pick.
- Played Defensive Tackle.

For the full LinkedIn profile click here

Join the LinkedIn NFLPA Former Players Group

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60 Heroes: Dave Meggyesy An Outspoken Champion for Justice

As the son of a union organizer, one could say Dave Meggyesy always had it in his blood to fight for labor rights. While in the NFL, the former St. Louis Cardinals linebacker was an outspoken advocate for the civil rights movement during the 1960s. And after joining the NFLPA staff, he became an activist for players’ rights as its Western Regional Director for more than 25 years.
Meggyesy’s bold voice about civil rights and the Vietnam War were not always well received by those in the NFL during his seven-year playing career. Then, after retiring in 1969 during his prime, the Syracuse alum endured more backlash following the publication of his revealing autobiography “Out of Their League,” which focused on how pro sports dehumanized athletes.
In 1981, Meggyesy attended an NFLPA meeting and, after introducing himself to then-Executive Director Ed Garvey, asked for a job at the union. Meggyesy’s initial plan to stay on for six months to help with collective bargaining during the 1982 player strike turned into a much longer commitment.
During his tenure, Meggyesy was able to help the NFLPA address many of the issues raised in his best-selling book, including free agency, the uneven revenue share between players and owners, health benefits and injury protection.
Meggyesy retired from the NFLPA staff in 2007, but he remains a strong advocate for player rights. He now serves as a player advisor for The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University, encouraging other fellow former athletes to participate in efforts to improve their well-being.


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Could Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders legend Tim Brown be slated to appear in an upcoming episode of HBO's Ballers?

Brown recently posed for a photo with the star of the show, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who plays a retired NFL player turned financial manager named Spencer Strasmore.

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Identifying Your Network: Whom Do You Know?
By Miriam Salpeter

A common complaint job seekers make is, “I don’t have a network!” It’s very frustrating to realize job search networking is the best way to land an opportunity but to believe that avenue isn’t open to you. Luckily, you do have a network! In fact, anyone who knows one person has a network, and it’s likely your acquaintances, friends, and family members number many more than one. In other words, it’s just a matter of learning how to identify people most interested in your expertise.

Identify Your Network

Social Media
Do you use Facebook? Are you connected to anyone on that social network? Your “friends” there, whether you really like them or not, are part of your professional network. (Even if you’ve never exchanged a word you’d consider “professional” with any of them.)

Do you use other networks, such as Instagram, Pinterest, or SnapChat? Believe it or not, people whose photos you comment on or whose pins you share are also part of your network.

You don’t need to have 500+ LinkedIn contacts to call yourself networked. However, you do need to learn how to tap into these networks of people to access professionally useful information. Ideally, you’ll want to identify any of the people in these networks who may also leverage any of the more typically accessed professional networks, such as LinkedIn, and then connect with them there.

People You Know
Maybe you don’t use social media (although it’s nearly a job-search necessity these days). “Ah ha,” you’re thinking, “I really don't have a network.” Perhaps, if you’ve never taken a class, had a job or internship, or left your house, you may make an argument that you don't have a network. However, most readers won’t accurately fit into those parameters. You have the potential to grow your network every time you leave your home. Do you grocery shop? Attend sporting events? Go to family dinners? Belong to a walking group in your neighborhood? All of these places provide great opportunities to expand your professional network.

Do you see a pattern here? Your professional network doesn’t come with special stickers or labels that say “job networking.” Your network encompasses everyone you know, and everyone those people know, too. If you really want to be fancy, it technically includes at least one more degree of separation, which would capture everyone who is a friend or acquaintance of those friends.

Start thinking about the strength of your professional network using this list:
  • Your family members and friends. (They don’t need to have jobs to join your network.)
  • Everyone you’ve ever worked with, including volunteer jobs.
  • People who attended school with you. Teachers count, too. This includes elementary school through college and grad school. Don’t forget to include people you met at professional development classes or fitness and exercise classes.
  • People you know from religious groups. If you go to religious services, everyone you meet there can be part of your network.
  • People you meet in your community or neighborhood, including at the dog park, kids’ soccer games, or the local street festival.
  • Anyone you know via your children’s activities.
  • People you meet while practicing your hobby, whether it is gardening, golfing, or skydiving. Anyone you meet can be part of your network.
  • Military contacts.
  • Your hairdresser or barber, the bartender at the local watering hole, and your dry cleaner are all in your network. Professionals who interact with a lot of people on a daily basis make great networking contacts. In addition, any one in a profession involving dealing with other professionals, such as accountants, lawyers, and business coaches make good contacts. They know a lot of people, and probably have someone in their network to connect with you.
If you don’t believe your extended network can help you get a job, these stories may change your mind.

Bettina Smalley recalled how she landed her first job out of college: “Divine intervention got me my first job at Scientific-Atlanta many moons ago. The pastor of my little Lutheran church was friends with a recruiter who needed to fill a sales position ‘at some big company’ with someone who spoke German. My pastor called me at 10 p.m. one night to tell me about it. By the end of the week, I had the job. If you're referred by a man of God, I guess they assume your references are good!”

This is a perfect example of the “you never know” factor when it comes to a job search. Bettina’s pastor knew something personal about her that also related to her professional potential: she speaks German. Are people in your network clued into your special skills and goals? One way to make sure they are in the loop about your plans and skills is to share information related to your professional life on more personal networks, such as Facebook. Do your grade school or high school friends and contacts know you’ve returned to school to study human resources, or that you just obtained certification as a massage therapist? If not, it’s a good idea to make sure they do. Either spread the word in person or via online networks to ensure you tap your network efficiently.
Andrea Clement, a PR and media professional in the medical recruiting industry, found her current job after running into a former boss at Nordstrom on Christmas Eve. She explained, “We both scrambled to do last-minute holiday shopping. At the time I was happily employed and he had just started his own firm. He asked if I was interested and I said that I really loved my job so I wasn't sure, which was true. After the holidays, my then boss resigned, and she was my favorite aspect of that job. That February, I became the first employee of the start-up firm working for the former boss I'd seen in Nordstrom! That was 2007. I'm still here and now we have 80+ associates!”

While not every networking success story begins with a random meeting, if you ask people you know, you may be surprised to find out how many found their jobs, not just via networking, but through very random networking circumstances. The lesson in this case is that you never know when you’ll run into someone who can be influential to your career. Keep this in mind if you’re in full-on networking mode. For example, be sure you go out dressed to meet professional contacts. This doesn’t mean donning a three-piece suit to go to the bank, but consider your networking goals when you’re out and about and tweak your appearance to ensure you are comfortable introducing yourself to people no matter the circumstances.

Levels of Networks
Your network has multiple levels. Your immediate network includes the people you know directly, either in person or via social networks. You also can access the people they know as part of your extended network. In other words, your brother’s boss, your neighbor’s professor, or your college friend’s accountant, are all in your network. Don’t forget: each network links you to another network of potentially untapped contacts.

You never know when “someone will know someone.” Corey-Jan Albert, a writer and marketing consultant, shared a great networking connection story about her son, Cameron, a recent college graduate seeking a journalism position: “About a week ago, he mentioned a position he applied for. I asked him if he knew who he'd be working for there, and he said he did. I told him to check the guy's LinkedIn and see what he could find. He called me back and said, ‘YOU know someone who knows him! I can't see who that is since I'm two degrees of contact removed, but you can.’ It turns out the common connection was Cameron's 5th grade soccer coach—now living in NY, working at Reuters. Cameron reached out to him. The former soccer coach was thrilled to hear from him, and not only gave him some Intel on the situation at hand; he also offered to link him up with the editor at Reuters in charge of freelance assignments. Double win!”

This story proves a few important lessons about networking. You may find the best networking contacts are people who would never have considered members of your official network. (Most college graduates don’t think their 5th-grade soccer coach will be a key player in their job search efforts. It’s also a good reminder to tap into family member networks.) Especially if you believe your network is small, connect with relatives on LinkedIn. It’s perfectly acceptable (and expected) to “link in” with your parents, grandparents, and their friends. If Cameron hadn’t been linked to his mom, he would not have realized this terrific contact. Unexpected results may happen from networking. In this case, Cameron accessed a freelance contact, even though he is seeking a traditional, full-time job. You never know what surprises await when you explore your networking potential.

Miriam Salpeter is owner and founder of Keppie Careers (, a coaching and consulting firm helping job seekers and entrepreneurs leverage social media and other tools to achieve their goals. She has appeared on CNN, and  major media outlets, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesForbes and others have quoted her advice. In addition to her own blog, Miriam writes for U.S. News & World Report and for She is the author of the books, Social Networking for Career SuccessSocial Networking for Business Success: How to Turn Your Interests into Income, and  100 Conversations for Career Success. Named to CNN’s list of “top 10 job tweeters you should be following” and a “top 5” influencer on Twitter for job seekers by Miriam also had her blog selected as a top career resource by Forbes. A vice president for a Wall Street firm prior to earning a master’s degree from Columbia University, Miriam ran the Career Action Center at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University before launching her own business.

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Stress Can Seriously Change Your Brain, Science Says
Brain scans of a cognitively healthy person and a person with Alzheimers from Dementia Lab.
By Ricky Tang

Have you already tried the science-backed tips to control the stress hormones in your body? I know, the beginning is always difficult….But DO IT TODAY if you still haven’t done it!
Let me get you some mind-blowing facts to enlighten you a bit today – Stress can affect how your brain is wired!

Stress makes your brain smaller

Are having trouble concentrating and learning new ideas? Do you toss and turn at night? Science says that it isn’t your fault. These are side effects of feeling too much stress. Who doesn’t feel over stressed these days? It may be the standard, but it isn’t normal. Too much stress can literally shrink the size the of the brain[1]

However, so many of us are overworked at work and home, and never have a chance to destress. This is when it becomes a problem. Whether you’re in a car crash or at work, the body responds the same when the brain thinks there is a threat. So our brains have cortisol pumping through them almost daily, which is not how nature intended it.

When we’re too stressed, too much cortisol would be present that creates quite a few issues:
  • Dampens your immune system.
  • Raises cholesterol and blood pressure, increasing your chance for a heart attack.
  • Hinders the hippocampus from making new brain cells. This part of your brain helps memory, and too much cortisol has been shown to lead to Alzheimers.
  • An excess of cortisol in the blood is related to chronic depression.
These brain scans show the hippocampus of two people. The smaller the hippocampus, the worse your memory is. The hippocampus deteriorates naturally with age – leading to Alzheimers, but too much cortisol hinders its ability to rejuvenate brain cells. This speeds up the process of deterioration. You can see the far higher amount of “blank space”, which is a where the brain has deteriorated.
Remember: Stress has become tricky; it is absolutely necessary for human survival, yet too much of it can kill you.
[1]^Yale team discovers how stress and depression can shrink the brain, (Yale News), and reduce your ability to perform simple tasks.

Stress stops your brain cells from regrowing

Stress isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s quite helpful when you’re feeling the right amount of it. Stress is what pushes you through during a marathon and gives you the energy to finish it. Stress is what gives you the ability to pull a magical speech off in front of a big crowd when you were positive you didn’t remember all your lines.(Life Event, Stress and Illness, NCBI)

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I Am The Trust
Listen to former players who have used our services talk about their experiences with our partners and programs.
Duration: 3:58

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To learn more about the many transition offerings of The Trust, visit their website by clicking here.

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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 C.Edwards
Membership Services Coordinator
Garrett Wooddell

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 5:30pm EST

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 or with the Membership Application

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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Player Emergency Help
NFL Get Help Hotline
Health, Career, Education and Lifestyle Programs for Former Players
Bahati VanPelt | Executive Director

Benefits Department

Available to answer player benefits and insurance questions.

800-372-2000 x155
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.

800-372-2000 x166

Andre Collins | Executive Director
Tyrone Allen | Director
Caryl Banks | Manager
Leslie Isler | Coordinator
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.

NFL Player Benefits Office

Baltimore, MD
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
We are pleased to feature our  rewards partnership with 
Club Glove, USA -
the finest American-made luggage on the planet. Chosen by over 90% of PGA Tour players. Limited lifetime warranty.
16 colors available. 
To Activate:
Click Here and visit 'Home, Outdoor, and Leisure'
Get Ready for the
Big Game!
Check out the savings on some of our favorite hotels
But first, you need to
get to Houston

You can use the NFLPA travel agent, World Travel
Or the Union Plus Travel Center
If you've never used an Uber, check out our car rental discounts
Avis Car Rental
Dollar Rent A Car
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Thrifty Car Rental
You can always watch the game in your
Man Cave

Deck the Walls with PaintZen
Create your own football stadium with Fathead
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Don't forget to wear your (favorite team) jersey with Fanatics and
ONETeam Shop
The links above will direct you to the company website.
To access the discount codes, sign in at

Transition Resources

Featured Partners

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, email the YMCA name and City, State to 

Health Partners

Video: Football Players Health Study at Harvard University
Partnering with Former Players: A Collaboration

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Former players can sign up to receive a questionnaire by clicking here.
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. 

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Contact Us

1133 20th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

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

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