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This year’s NFLPA Externship is in the books. In 2016, the program boasted record participation as 26 players took positions with 10 different outstanding organizations.

Here’s what player participants, host companies and the media had to say about the NFLPA Externship...

Arrelious Benn, player extern at Fanatics

“I had a lot of injuries early on in my career and I still have a lot of ball left in me, but I always knew that I can’t do it forever. (Working with Fanatics is) very advantageous because you’re coming across some good people. Seeing what you can branch off other than football, what other doors can open up, I think it’s a great thing that the NFLPA has done along with Fanatics for us to come together and get a great opportunity and experience other things outside of catching a ball, running a route and tackling.”

Good morning America


— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 25, 2016


Asante Cleveland, Player extern with comcast sportsnet


When you enjoy doing something, it shows

A photo posted by Asante Cleveland (@clevelandshow_82) on

steelers depot

“For many, however, including those who play the game, (NFL) stands for ‘Not For Long’, with the average NFL career lasting only a few years. And while they make good money in comparison to the average national income, their window of earning potential is short, and requires a lifetime of shrewd investment and expenditure to make that money last. That is the mindset of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Will Allen, a former 2004 fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers who has spent the majority of the back half of his career up north. Allen has used the offseason in recent years to prepare for his life after his football career is over, through programs supplied by the NFLPA. This is an essential tool for the majority of players, who typically do not make a lifetime’s worth of money during their brief careers.” 

Niko Davis, Player Extern on Capitol Hill


“Josh Bynes was constantly on the move Thursday, darting around the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. The Detroit Lions linebacker would duck his head into a meeting. He'd sit in on other conversations and along the way learn a little bit about a side of the NFL with which he wasn't familiar. Bynes is in his second week of an externship with the NFLPA in an attempt to prepare himself for a life once football is over, and he's picking up a lot.” 

Josh Bynes, Player Extern with NFLPA


Tony Washington, Player Extern at Under Armour

“I wanted to do something in the offseason to better myself and just explore other things besides football. And so when I saw that the NFLPA had the externship program and had all these different companies you could go to, I decided to look into it. I thought it would be something that could be interesting. Under Armour approaches footwear and apparel as an innovative company. They pride themselves on being a performance based company. They’re always trying to put the newest technology into their shoes and into their clothes.” 



"Washington Redskins tight end Ray Hamilton hit the ground running in his first week at Panini America as part of the unique NFLPA Externship program. He arrived on Tuesday and spent the better part of his first week fully immersed in the Panini America Product Development department attending meetings, developing checklists, visiting the company production facility and making his Panini Unwrapped debut. To be sure, Hamilton’s blog post documenting his first week on the job is must-read material.”

Ray Hamilton, Player Extern at Panini America


The finsiders

“Terrence Fede has been busy working out since the start of the calendar year to give himself the best possible chance to have a successful 2016 season for the Dolphins. The defensive end also is thinking long term, specifically beyond his playing career, and that’s also been part of his offseason. Fede is spending time at the University of Maryland these days working in their athletic department as part of the third annual NFLPA Externship.”

Associated Press

“As part of the NFL Players Association's "Externship Program," veterans such as Steelers safety Will Allen and guys coming off a first season in the league such as Broncos nose tackle Darius Kilgo — fresh with a Super Bowl ring, no less — have joined the workforce. The companies' playbooks cover topics such as market data analysis, hospitality, communications, health and safety innovation, sales, legislative processes, and networking. Kilgo and Allen expect to do "a bit of everything" during their stints. Mostly, they plan to learn about a workplace entirely different from their day jobs.” 

Will Allen, PLAYER EXTERN ON Capitol Hill

Washington Post

“Jamison Crowder set the Redskins’ record for receptions by a rookie last season and figures to play an even more prominent role in Washington’s offense in 2016, but the 22-year-old wide receiver is already planning for his next career. For the past three weeks, Crowder has traded in his playbook for a notebook and skipped the weight room in favor of a cubicle at Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda. Crowder is one of 26 players participating in the NFL Players Association’s third-year externship program, which is designed to give players real-world experience in industries outside of football.” 

Reggie Smith, Player Extern with Fanatics

Tags Player Development Externship

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