Inside this week's FPN

Former NFL Player Turns Mentor to Young Footballers

By Greg Macafee, Tribune Sports Editor

Former professional athletes often try to find a way to give back to the communities that gave them so much during their playing days. Some do it by holding camps, some do it by mentoring young players and some do it by providing opportunities for players that they may not otherwise get.

Former NFL player Mark McMillian does all three. For the past 10 years, McMillian and a staff full of former NFL and college players run Camp 29, a football camp that allows athletes from the youth level all the way up to the professional level to hone their skills. He also is a part of the Blue-Grey All-American game, which plays four games across the country after the conclusion of the high school football season.

Like many other athletes, McMillian wants to do anything he can to provide kids with the opportunity to get better, something he didn’t have much of when he was younger. He didn’t play youth football. In fact, he didn’t play the sport until his senior year of high school. Even then, he said, he played in only four or five games. It wasn’t until his time at Glendale Community College where he was given the opportunity to prove himself on the gridiron.

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Here's Why Former Chicago Bear Alan Ball Joined 'Survivor' Cast

Allan Ball is used to competing and being on TV, but “Survivor" was a whole new ballgame for the former Illinois and Bears defensive back.

By Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune

“It was something different. It was a challenge that I haven't been accustomed to. My whole career, I've been in team sports. So for me, it was kind of like a challenge individually,” said Ball, who grew up in Detroit and now lives in the Houston area.

The 32-year-old vies for the million-dollar prize on Season 35 of the CBS series, which is scheduled to premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday. In this season's twist, the 18 castaways are divided into three tribes: heroes (Ball's team), healers and hustlers.

The competition was filmed in Fiji earlier this year, just months after Ball was injured upon signing with the Arizona Cardinals. The NFL journeyman, who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2007 draft after playing for the Illini, was with the Bears in 2015. Ball said he’ll probably officially retire from the NFL at the end of the year if he does not hear from any teams. He said he has been focusing on his real estate business. His appearance on "Survivor” comes months after Brad Culpepper, who played for the Bears in 2000, placed second on Season 34.

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Setbacks, Fears and Asking for Help

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

I’m on a plane headed to London for an international conference on player care services. Who would have thought so many years ago that we would be at this point right now, an international conference on player care? As professional athletes, we speak the same language, suffer the same setbacks, have the same fears and need the same kind of help.

During my first few months on the job at the NFLPA, a player called saying he was locked out of his motel room because the bill hadn’t been paid. The motel room was where he had been living. If that wasn’t enough, it was Christmas Eve and standing there with his kids the presents were locked inside. Legally separated from his wife, it was his turn to have the kids on Christmas eve. A sad truth of a player just hoping to do his best during a difficult transition. Fathers, go there with me for a second and imagine how that must feel. Let that settle in. The story did have a happy ending because he was brave, took action and asked for help.

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The NFLPA has Joined the Alzheimer’s Workplace Alliance

The NFLPA supports the Alzheimer’s Association with awareness and support through events like Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Blondes vs. Brunettes. A big thank you to members of the Washington DC Chapter of the NFL Players Association for coming out to support the Walk to End Alzheimer's on Saturday October 14th!

Pictured are John Booty, Darnerien McCants and Fred Smoot along with event organizers. The NFLPA working together with the Alzheimer’s Association on this great cause to better understand brain health. It will take a powerful team to tackle Alzheimer’s disease. Together, we will win this game and achieve a world without Alzheimer’s! The NFLPA is committed to helping players and their families who are facing Alzheimer’s disease.

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The NFLPA Atlanta Chapter recently gathered together to socialize over food and drinks! (Pictured front row to back row, left to right: 
Bobby Howard, Horace King, Dewey McClain, Eddie Drummond, Josh Gordy, Fred Banks, Chris Powell, Sol Brannan, Herb Christopher, Ken Parker, Walt Harris, William Andrews, KD Dunn, Van Jakes, Eric Matthews, Johnny Johnson, Walter Stith, Julius Williams, Daniel Wilcox, Chris Parker, Orantes Grant, Tim Birney)
The NFLPA Northern California Chapter gathers at a local fundraiser benefiting The Unity Council, which aims to support disadvantaged youth throughout Oakland.
 If your chapter is going out in the community to help others, we want to acknowledge you too. Please send photos and descriptions to 

9 Reasons Why You Must Update Your LinkedIn Profile Today

By William Arruda, Forbes

Over the past decade, LinkedIn has become an essential personal branding tool. It has never been more important to build and maintain a stellar LinkedIn profile. The virtual professional network has morphed from an online resume and networking site to a comprehensive personal branding resource. Here are nine eye-opening reasons why you need to polish your LinkedIn profile right now!

1. It has millions of members. With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Today, it’s assumed that you have a LinkedIn profile. If you don't have one, can you be taken seriously as a career-minded executive? Brand-conscious leaders don’t turn their backs on two hundred million prospects.

2. It shows up at the top of Google searches. When someone googles you, your LinkedIn profile will likely show up in the first or second spot – that’s some powerful Google juice! This is important because, according to a Gravitate Online study of over 8 million clicks, more than 94% of users clicked on the first page results while fewer than 6% clicked to the second page. The first and second positions get 50% of all clicks.

Working America Enrollment
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We Tried the TheraGun, a New Recovery Tool Used by NFL Players

By Ben Radding

Subscribe At Men’s Health, we’re always telling you about the best workouts that will guarantee results. But what about recovery? We’re so glad you asked, because it’s one of our favorite subjects. We’re consistently on the lookout for new recovery techniques, and we think we’ve found a pretty solid one.

It’s called the TheraGun, and it's a nifty tool for quick recovery from sore muscles. It’s shaped like a gun, but the muzzle is a small ball that vibrates and pulses, breaking knots and giving you better blood flow. The TheraGun has been used by athletes in the NCAA, MLB, and even the NFL, so we just had to give it a spin.

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How Carl Hairston is Taking Charge of His Health

After a 15-year playing career and another 18 years on the coaching/scouting side, Carl “Big Daddy” Hairston has been around the game of football longer than most. And he’s no stranger to the aches and pains former players are virtually guaranteed after a lengthy career in the league.

While Hairston still works out consistently and considers himself in good shape, the 64-year-old former defensive lineman was eager to take advantage of the Milestone Wellness Assessment (MWA), a medical benefit The Trust offers former NFL players who have been out of the league for 15 years or more.

Launched in July of 2017, the comprehensive assessment sends players to one of The Trust’s medical partners (Cleveland Clinic, Hoag Neurosciences Institute, Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) for a multi-day screening specifically designed for the older generation of players. Hairston's assessment took place at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA.


Former Player Services Department

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


Nolan Harrison III, MBA
Senior Director
Lorenzo Kaufman
Senior Manager
Kate Bell
Terran Foster
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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Health, Career, Education and Lifestyle Programs for Former Players.


Bahati VanPelt
Executive Director

Professional Athletes Foundation

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

Andre' Collins
Executive Director
Tyrone Allen
Caryl Banks
Leslie Isler


NFLPA Benefits Department

Available to answer player benefits and insurance questions.

800-372-2000 x159

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

NFLPA National Office

1133 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

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

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.
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 the NFLPA and ask to speak with Membership Services at 800-372-2000 if you have any membership or internet questions.

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Player Emergency Help
NFL Get Help Hotline
Monetary grants for qualified vested former players experiencing hardships.
Off the Field is the national football player wives association 
Click HERE for more information on
Off The Field Players' Wives Association
Save 30% on a custom bobblehead of your favorite player at All Bobble Heads.
Stock up on your favorite NFL gear from Fanatics. 
Receive one year of complimentary service with access to identity theft monitoring from Identity  Guard.
Save big on a full range of personal and corporate investigative services from Corporate Security Solutions, Inc. 
Receive special monthly pricing for all levels of access for you and a friend or family member at 24 Hour Fitness.
Check out the latest in training innovation with performance and skill training products for a variety of sports with SKLZ.
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. 

To Access the Free 
YMCA Membership:
If you have 2 or more Credited Seasons
Click Here to Email The Trust
If you have less than 2 Credited Seasons
Click Here to Email the FPSD
Please include the player's name,  player's NFLPA ID number, YMCA name, and YMCA city and state. 

You will receive a confirmation email once the email is received. 

Health Partners

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

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Click Here to Sign Up to Receive a Questionnaire

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

Terran Foster
Membership Services Coordinator, Former Player Services

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