• NFL PLAYER CARE FOUNDATION
  • 1-800-NFL-GOAL (1-800-635-4625)
  • NFL PLAYER CARE FOUNDATION

    ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE NOW

    PCF is pleased to share the completion of its 2023 Annual Report. PCF's 2023 Annual Report is available in the Programs tab -> PCF Financial Assistance -> Annual Report.

    OVERVIEW

    The NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) is an independent organization dedicated to helping retired players improve their quality of life. PCF addresses all aspects of life by providing programs and assistance with medical, emotional, financial, social and community issues.

    The National Football League recognizes the enormous contributions former players have had in the development and success of America’s favorite sport -- NFL football. To acknowledge and express appreciation for their contributions, the NFL Owners, in partnership with the NFL Players Association, Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Alumni Association, created the NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) in September 2007.

    PCF is administered by a board of eight directors. The National Football League, NFL Players Association, Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Alumni Association are each appointed a nominated director.  In addition, four outside directors share their expertise in foundation management, mental health, social welfare issues, and healthcare.

    The Foundation is committed to improving its outreach and impact so that it may better serve retired players. PCF uses a unique case management model that focuses on individualized strategies to help players through challenging times. Through its partnerships and the Foundation’s diverse board membership, it is poised to effectively communicate, understand and serve the needs of those players whose careers contributed to the enormous success of the NFL.  

     

    PROGRAMS

    Programs that can offer help.

    Through charitable grants that support research and offer relief to disadvantaged and distressed retired players, the PCF has enacted a number of programs to improve the quality of life for former players, including:

    STATISTICS

    Player Care Foundation puts numbers on the board.

    Financial Contributions

    $21.6 Million

    ...

    Players Assisted

    2102

    ...

    Research Distribution

    $12.2 Million

    ...

    Screenings Conducted

    6385

    Financial Contributions

    $21.6 Million

    ...

    Players Assisted

    2102

    ...

    Research Distribution

    $12.2 Million

    ...

    Screenings Conducted

    6385

    Statistics representative of the Player Care Foundation since its inception in September 2007

    2018 Medical Research

    The NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) is proud to partner with one of the nation’s premier medical providers ‐ Tulane University School of Medicine ‐ to conduct its Healthy Body and Mind Screening Program. PCF screenings are offered as part of the Foundation’s research programs, which help to advance public awareness and scientific understanding of health issues that affect former NFL players. With consent from players participating in screenings, clinical information is gathered and used for important research initiatives that may lead to advances that improve the lives of NFL retirees.

    PCF is pleased to share with you published research based on data collected through the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Healthy Body and Mind Screening Program. The abstracts are now included in the most recent American College of Sports Medicine (ACMS) journal and were presented at the ACMS conference in June 2018. The two research topics are:

    •The Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus in a Former Professional Football Player Populations

    •The Prevalence of Hypertension in a Population of Former Professional Football Players

    Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine

    NEWS

  • December 05, 2023
  • How Resilience, Transferable Skills, and a Super Bowl Career Fair Launched Trey Watts’ Career in Talent Acquisition

    When Trey Watts drove over 1,400 miles from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Miami, Florida in 2020, he was accompanied by a rental car and his resume – with sights set on the NFL Player Care Foundation’s 2nd Annual Super Bowl Career Fair. Previously a running back for the St. Louis Rams with a talent for all-purpose yards, Watts was now on the journey to find his own purpose.

    But Watts’ journey up until this drive to Miami had been a challenge. 

    “I went through it. I went through a lot,” says Watts. “The transition into the workforce and finding the next opportunity, was harder than making an NFL team.”

    The year 2020 marked four-years since Watts last played in the NFL. Despite his challenges, Watts was instilled with a rare level of resilience. As a former walk-on at the University of Tulsa and an undrafted free agent for the St. Louis Rams (now Los Angeles Rams), his resume proved one thing: when given a chance, he maximized his opportunities.

    Watts speaking with an Uber representative at the career fair

    Fast forward to 2023, three years since the career fair, and Watts undoubtedly maximized his opportunity, finding himself as a Senior University Recruiter for one of the world’s most notable brands: Uber.

    “The opportunity saved my life,” says Watts. “At the time, I didn’t have much money, any mentors and I was bouncing around jobs. So, I found the most cost-effective way to get to Miami and just trusted God that something would happen.”

    Something did happen. And when the former running back walked into the career fair – he realized that he had been in this situation before during NFL training camp.

    “At training camp, I’d always ask myself ‘How do I stand out and make this coach know my name?’” says Watts. “I used that same mindset for the career fair, including preparation and ensuring my resume was in a great spot.”

    Just like training camp with the Rams and his walk-on tryouts at Tulsa, Watts succeeded. This time, leaving a lasting impression on Uber. The organization saw something in Watts, as he didn’t have any idea that he wanted to be in talent acquisition (TA), what TA was, or what type of roles were out there prior to the fair.

    “The career fair was great because you don’t know what’s out there until you see it,” adds Watts. “It also made me realize that there are so many careers out there that we (NFL Legends) can thrive in.” 

    Watts is right. The proof is in his responsibilities at Uber where he’s responsible for hiring software engineers, intern classes and more, assisting them with navigating job offers and onboarding while working internally with stakeholders and externally with students.

     TRANSFERABLE SKILLS | NFL EXPERIENCE TO TALENT ACQUISITION

    “What I enjoy most about TA is that it’s about helping people, like helping someone navigate their first job or internship,” says the former running back. “They could be relocating to a new city, which I feel like I can relate to because of my experience moving to St. Louis for the Rams after being signed.”

    In addition to relatability, the abilities to outwork and function well on a team are also notable skills translatable to a role in TA. Coachability, the ability to learn quickly and preparation, according to Watts, too, can be parlayed into a career in recruiting or TA.

     “When it comes to preparation – we (NFL Legends) know how to do that.” Watts says.

     Being an NFL Legend means you have a platform – is there anything you'd like to tell NFL Legends reading?

    “From not knowing what to do, the loss of identity, and the massive change,” says Watts, “the transition into the workforce is challenging because we spent so much time doing one thing.”

    He concluded, “Don’t be afraid to take that first step and take advantage of opportunities –because we (NFL Legends) have so many opportunities at our disposal.”

    EVENTS

    DATE TITLE LOCATION TIME REGISTRATION
    February 8-10 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Tempe, AZ 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • March 31 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Baltimore, MD 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • April 28 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Kansas City, MO 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • June 16 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Renton, WA 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • August 2-03 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Canton, OH 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • September 15 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Chicago, IL 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • October 20 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Grapevine, TX 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • November 17 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Tampa, FL 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • February 7-09 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Las Vegas, NV 8am - 2pm
  • CLOSED
  • March 15 Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program Denver, CO 8am - 2pm
  • REGISTER
  • CONTACT

    1-800-635-4625 / info@nflplayercare.com / PO Box 4746, New York, NY 10163

    Let us know why you are contacting us.

    Submit Form

    Thanks for contacting us! Someone will be in touch as soon as possible. If it’s time sensitive, please call us at 1-800-NFL-GOAL.

    Eligibility

    PCF grant applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, in adherence to the following eligibility guidelines:

     • Applicant must be a former NFL player with at least one credited season of NFL play or two seasons of at least eight games each season as a practice player; widows and children of deceased former NFL players, who would otherwise be eligible for support, may also apply.

    • Applicant must meet financial qualifications

    • Applicants are required to wait at least 3 years from their last assistance before reapplying

    Grants Supported by PCF

    • Basic living expenses, including transportation and utilities

    • Shelter and housing, including rental and mortgage assistance, and assisted living facilities fees and expenses

    • Ongoing quality of life expenses such as prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies, nursing care, and medical treatment

    • Medically-necessary joint replacement surgeries approved by the NFL Player Care Plan and related post-operative rehabilitation, including incidental fees and expenses

    • Funeral expenses

    Grants Not Supported by PCF

    • Alimony

    • Taxes

    • Child Support

    • Tuition Assistance

    • Fines, penalties or legal expenses, except in extraordinary circumstances

    • Luxury items, including cable/satellite television, multiple cell phones, homes or cars

    • Credit cards, unless accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation

    Grant Guidelines

    • All grants shall be made on an objective and non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, gender, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability

    • Payments shall be made to creditors rather than individual grant recipients

    • All grants shall be awarded on a case-by-case basis

    • The Board of Directors shall have discretion to interpret these guidelines and shall have final authority to make determinations as to all grant awards

    • The Foundation’s directors, officers, employees and their family members are not eligible to receive grant awards or other support from the Foundation

    PCF Career Programs

    In May of 2020, the NFL Player Care Foundation launched its NFL PCF Career Portal. The Portal allows players to browse and apply for opportunities that were posted by hiring managers across the country. We are proud that we were able to provide career resources, opportunities, and hope to players at a time when our country was facing record unemployment numbers that were fueled by COVID-19. Since its initial launch, we have had over 850 former players register to network and interview with 60+ employers, including PepsiCo, FedEx Ground, Visa, Lowe’s, NBC Sports, and many of our NFL clubs. Additionally, with assistance from Atrium Workforce Solutions, PCF has been able to review, update and improve over 340 player resumes.

    In addition to the introduction of our Inaugural Kickoff Career Fair in September 2021, which followed a successful 3rd Annual Super Bowl Career Fair in February 2021, PCF is making a concerted effort to diversify the career offerings on our portal. We have started engaging with municipalities and national non-profits to hire NFL Legends. Visa will also be launching their “NFL Players in Business Development Program” this fall. The 2-year paid rotational program will expose NFL Legends to different departments across Visa. I believe this innovative model is one that other employers will adopt in the years to come."

    PCF looks forward to the continued growth of its NFL PCF Career Programs in the upcoming fiscal year.

    Notice of Privacy Practices

    Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities.

    PCF Notice of Privacy Practices (2021 Update)

    Annual Report

    We are pleased to share with you the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Annual Report covering the 2019 fiscal year.  It is our hope that the publication provides you with a broader understanding of our work and the contributions we have made to improve the quality of former players’ lives since our inception in 2007.

    PCF, its dedicated Board of Directors and Staff are proud of how far the Foundation has come and the number of lives we have touched.  To that end, we also remain committed to evolving with our former player community and educating the public on the complex issues that impact our retirees and their families.  It has been a privilege to give back to those whose contributions have helped advance this great game and teaming with our wonderful partners who enable us to most effectively serve our retired player community.

    2023 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2022 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2021 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2020 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2019 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2018 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    2017 NFL Player Care Foundation Annual Report (PDF)

    Disaster Relief

    PCF continues to monitor the impact of Hurricane Ian and is here to serve former NFL players in need. Please find a list of additional resources below, including information on applying for FEMA Emergency Assistance. Affected individuals residing impacted communities may also qualify for an emergency grant from the NFL Player Care Foundation. To inquire, please reach out to info@nflplayercare.com.

    Staying Connected During a Disaster - Technology Tips

    FEMA How To Prepare for a Hurricane - Before During  After

    Disaster Relief Resources - Central Florida

    Healthy Body & Mind Screening Program

    The NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) is proud to partner with the NFL Alumni Association and one of the nation’s premier medical providers ‐ Tulane University School of Medicine ‐ to conduct its Healthy Body and Mind Screening program. This FREE national screening program is open to all former NFL players and includes a series of cardiovascular and prostate screenings and mental health resources and education. With consent from players participating in screenings, clinical information gathered will be used for important research initiatives that may lead to advances that improve the lives of NFL retirees.  NFL Player Care Foundation screenings are offered as part of PCF’s research programs, which help to advance public awareness and scientific understanding of health issues that affect former NFL players.

    Please call 954-639-4584 for additional information on this program.

    NFL Healthcare Hotline

    The NFL Healthcare Hotline is a free telephone service that connects former players to a trained Customer Service Advocate (CSA). These CSAs are on call from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM to answer questions regarding NFL player benefits and can help players maximize the health insurance options available to them under the Affordable Care Act. For more information on the hotline program and the new Affordable Care Act, you may log onto www.NFLHealthCareInformation.com or call 1-800-NFL-GOAL or 1-800-635-4625.

    www.NFLHealthCareInformation.com

    NFL Life Line

    In 2012, the National Football League provided a grant to establish the NFL Life Line for members of the NFL family—current and former NFL players, coaches, team and league staff, and their family members, who may be in crisis. The NFL Life Line is a free, confidential and independently operated resource that connects callers with trained counselors who can help individuals work through any personal or emotional crisis. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To be connected with a counselor, individuals can simply call 1-800-506-0078 or chat online.

    www.nfllifeline.org

    NFL Player Benefits Office

    The NFL Player Benefits Office provides administration services for the following collectively bargained benefit plans: Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan, NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan, NFL Player Annuity Program and the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. By calling 1-800-638-3186 or logging onto www.nflplayerbenefits.com, players can get information regarding which benefits they are eligible to receive, the amount of the benefit, and when and how they can receive the benefits they have earned. The Plan Office has customer service agents who are trained to help you understand and apply for your NFL benefits. They can also answer general questions regarding other collectively bargained benefits that are not administered by the Plan Office and direct players to other resources and benefits available through the NFL or the NFLPA.

     

    www.nflplayerbenefits.com

    Brookdale

    Brookdale is a proud partner of the NFL Player Care Foundation and has been providing members and their family members (including spouses, adult children, adult step-children, in-laws, siblings, parents, step-parents, grandparents and step-grandparents) exclusive discounts, educational resources, and support since 2008.

    As the nation’s leading operator of senior living communities, Brookdale is committed to its mission of enriching the lives of the people it serves with compassion, respect, excellence and integrity.  Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care communities, and through its care and services to support their lifestyle in an environment that feels like home.  The company’s expertise in healthcare, hospitality real estate provides our residents with opportunities to improve wellness, pursue passions and stay connected with friends and loved ones.

     

    WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

    Brookdale has agreed to grant priority access to eligible players. Frequently, that means a player will not have to wait to move into a community of their choice in addition to the program discounts available:

    • 7.5% discount on Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care

    • 10% discount on Private Duty Home Care

    • Respite stay discounts (variable by community)

     

    WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM?

    Discounts are available to both current and previous NFL players and their family members, including: Spouses, Parents, Stepparents, Siblings, In-Laws, Adult Children, Adult Stepchildren, Grandparents and Step-Grandparents

     

    HOW DOES A PLAYER GET THE BENEFITS?

    A player can take advantage of these benefits by contacting Brookdale Senior Living directly and identifying himself as a current or previous NFL Player or family member. Additionally, he can contact the NFL Player Benefits Department at 1-800-NFL-GOAL or 1-800-635-4625.

     

    CONTACTS

    Brookdale Senior Living (Preferred Provider): (866) 748-2526

    Visit www.brookdale.com/nfl

    Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund

    The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund is an independent non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, established to provide financial and medical assistance to dire need retired NFL players and their families in dire need. Gridiron Greats Board of Directors consist of: Mike Ditka, Marv Levy, Gale Sayers, Kyle Turley and Matt Birk.

    www.gridirongreats.org

    NFL Player Engagement

    NFL Player Engagement optimizes and revolutionizes the personal and professional growth of football players through continuous guidance and support before, during and beyond their NFL experience. NFL Player Engagement prepares and supports players with matters such as Education, Physical and Mental Health, Family Safety, Lifestyle and Transition into their post-NFL life. Their goal is to serve and assist as a resource for parents, coaches and athletes in using football as a catalyst to build and develop life skills for success.

    www.nflplayerengagement.com

    NFL Legends

    The Legends Community was developed to embrace and celebrate all who have played in the NFL. Its mission is to bring opportunities and information to former players through other members of the Legends Community and to help them stay connected with former teammates and players they met during their playing days.

    There are a number of resources available to assist former players following their playing career. These resources include benefits they may be entitled to including career development, financial, medical, or educational assistance, and total wellness.  The NFL Legends Community is designed to be the single source for information regarding all of these programs.

    For additional information, please visit: http://www.nfllegendscommunity.com/

     

     

    Professional Athletes Foundation

    The Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF) provides financial support to any professional or amateur football player or his immediate family in times of financial crisis. PAF is governed by an elected board of directors that oversee all aspects of the funding process.

    https://www.yourpaf.com/about/#.VuBxPvkrK70 

    NFL Alumni Association

    The NFL Alumni Association is a nationwide group of former National Football League players, coaches, and other employees whose mission is to serve, assist, and inform former players and their families.  The association offers a variety of medical, financial, and social programs to help members lead healthy, productive, and connected lives, as well as community initiatives under its "Caring for Kids" programs.  For more information, please visit www.nflalumni.org.

    The Trust

    The Trust is designed to provide an ecosystem of support for former players, with an emphasis on overall health and successful transition from professional football. The Trust staff counsels players through a wellness plan across six primary pillars: Brain and Body, Career, Education, Financial, Lifestyle and Personal Interaction.

    The Trust emerged from the commitment of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and its members to ensure that players are provided access to benefits and services that assist in their success beyond the game of football. It culminates the hard-fought efforts of past and present CBA battles to better serve former NFL players. As such, The Trust is a benefit earned by NFL Players.

    www.playerstrust.com

    Pro Football Hall of Fame

    Since opening it's door in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has grown in both size and stature. A founding memeber of the NFL Player Care Foundation Board of Directors since its 2007 inception, today, the Pro Hall of Fame stands to Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values, and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE. For additional informtion on the Pro Football Hall of Fame please visit http://www.profootballhof.com/ 

    Pro Football Retired Players Association

    Pro Football Retired Players Association (PFRPA) is an independent and court established retired NFL player organization, designed to develop programs and benefits for the betterment of retired NFL players. PFRPA oversees the Greater Good Fund, its 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, which is specifically designed to develop health, welfare and educational programs for retired NFL players. The association’s comprehensive insurance plans, the PFRPA Dental Plan and PFRPA Vision Plan, are available to its membership. PFRPA brought on WME | IMG to establish an independent agency known as the Football Greats Alliance (FGA). It creates, develops and manages new revenue streams through the strategic development of retired player publicity rights.

     

    PFRPA Board of Directors consist of: Jim Brown, Dave Robinson, Darrell Thompson, Billy Joe DuPree, Mike Haynes, Ron Mix, Mike Singletary, Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood.

     

    www.pfrpa.com 

    The Players Congress

    The Players Congress was launched in 2013 for the benefit of over 19,000 NFL veterans and family members of deceased players. The organization’s mission is to assist retired players, families, widows and various Community Causes via income generated through its apparel manufacturing and import business, along with held interest in other projects. The organization functions as a C-Corp (For Profit) and is owned, operated and controlled solely by Retired Players. The Players Congress joined with manufacturing giant, J.H. Design Group, NFL Properties and the Dallas Cowboys in a joint apparel-licensing venture that includes training and opportunities for former players. A portion of royalties are distributed to players through the Pioneer Assistance Fund, the Widows Fund, scholarship assistance and other programs. 

    For more information please visit us at : http://www.playerscongress.com

    Ronnie Barnes

    PCF Board Appointee

    Ronnie Barnes has served as Head Athletic Trainer of the New York Giants since 1980 and Senior Vice President of Medical Services since 2014.  A former Giants student intern and Michigan State University Athletic Trainer, Barnes has served on numerous committees, both for the NATA and NFL. Barnes was the first African American graduate of the Sports Medicine Department at his alma mater, East Carolina University and was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious awards an athletic trainer can receive He is currently a member of the NFL Head Neck and Spine Committee, NFL Foot and Ankle Committee, and Liaison to the NFL Equipment Managers Meeting.  Ronnie has served on the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2022.

    Tricia Bent-Goodley Ph.D., LICSW, LCSW-C

    PCF Board Appointee

    Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley Ph.D., LICSW, LCSW-C currently serves as Team Clinician for the Baltimore Ravens.  In this role, Tricia provides counseling, clinical care, crisis management, and intervention in mental health emergencies to players, coaches, significant others, and family members.  She is also a member of the NFL Team Clinician Advisory Board.  Tricia is a Professor Emeritus at Howard University School of Social Work and a Graduate Professor of Public Health in the Howard University Graduate School where she served as Founding Director of the Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program.  Tricia received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Tricia has served on the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2022.

    Andre Collins

    NFL Players Association Appointee

    Andre played in the NFL for 10 years including starting in Super Bowl XXVI for the Washington Redskins. He currently serves as the NFLPA Director of Former Players Services and Executive Director of the Professional Athletes Foundation, helping players transition out of the game. He is responsible for managing a department that services the League’s former players, creating a sense of community, compassion and opportunity working with 38 former players’ chapters across the country. Andre’s personal experiences after leaving the game and a desire to make the transition smoother for retirees is his driving force on the board.

    Carlie Irsay-Gordon

    PCF Board Appointee

    Carlie Irsay-Gordon is in currently in her 11th season as Vice Chair/Owner of the Indianapolis Colts.  Raised in and around the organization, Carlie interned with the club’s Football Operations and Marketing departments while pursuing her undergraduate degree at Skidmore College.  She has represented the Colts at NFL Owners’ Meetings since 2004 and is involved in all aspects of the organization, specifically in directing the team’s growing digital, social media, content, and production operations.  Carlie is a member of the NFL’s Media Owned & Operated Committee, which oversees the NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Mobile and other league-owned media properties.  She also serves on the boards of Visit Indy, Park Tudor School, and co-chair of the Indy Championships Fund.  Carlie has served on the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2022.

    Ozzie Newsome

    National Football League Appointee

    Ozzie played in the NFL for 13 seasons and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has spent an additional 26 years holding various executive positions in the NFL. Since 2002 he has been the General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens, the first African-American to occupy this position in League history. Ozzie has experienced many great NFL moments, but it is the day to day, being in touch with the players that he most enjoys. His PCF board position gives him the opportunity to help the many great men who paved the way for today’s game.

    Roman Oben

    PCF Board Appointee

    As a member of the NFL Alumni Board of Directors Roman Oben is charged with the responsibility of providing effective governance to the organization's mission and strategic direction, as well as giving guidance, assistance, and oversight to the Executive Director. In 2015, Oben joined the NFL as Director of Youth & High School football, where he drives the league’s youth football strategy and develops new programs to encourage participation in tackle and flag football. Oben’s professional playing career began with the New York Giants in 1996 and continued in Cleveland, Tampa Bay and San Diego. Throughout, Oben has been a leader and advocate for youth sports enrichment, and has received countless awards for community service both as an NFL player and off the field.

    Will Shields

    Professional Football Hall of Fame Appointee

    Will Shields was drafted in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, and in his illustrious 14-season career, never missed a game and set franchise marks with 224 games played and 223 starts.  Will earned his first Pro Bowl berth following the 1995 season and embarked on a string of 12 straight AFC-NFC Pro Bowl berths that ran through the end of his career.  He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, and in 1999, joined Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas as the only active players to be named to the Chiefs’ 40th Anniversary Team.  In 2011, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and three years later was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.  In 2003 Shields was the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, for his work in The "Will to Succeed" Foundation, the charitable organization he started in 1993.  Will has served on the NFL Player Care Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2022.

    Al Smith

    NFL Alumni Association Appointee

    Al Smith is a former All-Pro National Football League player, executive, author, and speaker with over 25 years of leadership experience in sports, business, broadcasting, and community service.

    A collegiate standout, Smith was inducted into the Utah State Athletic Hall of Fame and selected for the State of Utah’s All-Century Team. In 1987, he was drafted by the Houston Oilers, where some of his NFL career highlights include multiple Pro Bowl selections and First Team All-Pro Honors.

    Currently, Al serves on the Board of Directors for the NFL Alumni Association, the American Cancer Society, and Ambassador to the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative.

     

    Harold Henderson

    President

    Harold R. Henderson served as NFL Executive Vice President for Labor Relations and Chairman of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee for sixteen years. In that capacity, he had responsibility for all aspects of the League's player and labor relations, with a legal and professional staff of 44 reporting to him. After 2007 Mr. Henderson focused on Player Development programs; drug, alcohol, steroid and conduct policies; and benefits for current and former players. He has been President of the NFL Player Care Foundation since its creation, and continued in that role after his retirement from the NFL in 2012.

    Belinda Lerner

    Executive Director

    Belinda Lerner is the Executive Director for the NFL Player Care Foundation and Vice President of NFL Alumni Affairs and Retired Player Programs. In her role as Executive for the NFL Player Care Foundation, she is responsible for directing all the Foundation’s operations including grant distribution and managing charitable partnerships and programs. As Vice President, she represents the NFL in a variety of matters focusing primarily on player disabilities and health and wellness programming. Ms. Lerner was the first female attorney to be employed by the NFL when she was hired in July 1993 to work in the NFL Management Council. During her tenure with the NFL, she negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement with the NFL game officials union, has represented NFL clubs in numerous arbitration hearings, and has provided them with advice and council on a variety of collective bargaining and employment issues.

    Brendan Wilson

    Secretary

    Brendan Wilson is a partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he serves as a member of the firm’s tax-exempt organizations practice group. In that role, Mr. Wilson counsels charities, private foundations and associations on tax and corporate law matters. He has worked with the NFL Player Care Foundation since its founding in 2007 and has been a member of its Scholarship Committee since 2016, helping former NFL players pursue various post-graduate educational opportunities.

    Nate Recknagel

    Clinical and Research Director

    Nate Recknagel is currently the Clinical and Research Director for the Player Care Foundation. Nate's prior experience as a Clinical Social Worker allows him to effectively serve as a liaison between former players and social service providers, with the goal of satisfying the emotional, financial, health, employment, and all other needs of former players. Nate provides direction on all Clinical PCF Programs, which includes PCF’s Mental Health Screening Program, clinical research, and clinical treatment partnerships. In the past, Nate served as a Mental Health Clinician with the Psychiatric Emergency Services in the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and as a Medical Social Worker at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. Prior to becoming a social worker, Nate played baseball at the University of Michigan and with the Cleveland Indians organization.

    Valon Alford

    Clinical Program Manager

    Valon Alford is a Clinical Coordinator with the NFL Player Care Foundation. In this role, Valon assists former players who have separated from the game in addressing critical transition areas, including: physical health, money management, and employment. As a clinical social worker, Valon adds mental health expertise to the psychosocial factors involved with case management. Prior to joining PCF, Valon worked as a Clinical Social Worker with the Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency. Valon has provided psychotherapy, behaviorally-based case planning, and court supervised case management services to children and families, as well as military beneficiaries during various stages of transition. 

    Renee Sturm

    Clinical & Research Coordinator

    Renee Sturm serves as Clinical & Research Coordinator after her previous role as Clinical Social Work Intern. She joins PCF after graduating from the University of Michigan’s Master of Social Work Program in July 2023. Renee earned her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Systems Administration from Ferris State University where she also played Women’s Basketball for four years. Her background in competitive athletics has aided in her success at PCF where she works closely with NFL Legends as a case manager supporting new program development, working with data analytics, and attending Healthy Body & Mind Screenings. Among Renee’s notable accomplishments since joining PCF are the development of an accessible online NFL Service Providers’ Resource Guide, the implementation of a new Player Dashboard to increase accessibility of the grant application process, and drafted a proposal that seeks to futher PCF's use of data to better serve NFL Legends.

    Dana Lihan

    Program Director

    Dana Lihan is the NFL Player Care Foundation's Program Director.  In
    this role, Dana provides direction on all PCF programs.  Dana helps all
    former players at any point in their post-NFL life by developing an
    individualized case management process.  Dana participates in programs
    ranging from career transition, financial assistance and health and
    wellness, including coordinating neurological exams and connecting them
    with many of PCF's former NFL player partners.  She directs the PCF
    Healthy Body and Mind Screening Program, its national cardiovascular and
    prostate screening program that also offers mental health resources and
    education free of charge to all former players.  Prior to joining PCF
    Dana directed the activities of the NFL Alumni's Dire Need Charitable
    Trust, and since 2001 has worked as a Certified Child Advocate with the
    Guardian ad Litem Program, which provides legal support for abused ,
    abandoned and neglected children in foster care.

    Andrew Jo

    Assistant Treasurer/Program Manager

    Andrew Jo is a Senior Manager of Retired Player Programs at the National Football League. In this role Andrew manages incoming player cases for the NFL Player Care Foundation and provides support to former NFL players in the areas of post career resources, financial assistance, and mental health and wellness.  In addition to case management, Andrew evaluates all PCF grant requests to ensure grant making is ethical, transparent, and compliant with the Foundation’s bylaws, manages PCF’s annual operating budget, and all financial reporting for the Foundation. Since 2019, Andrew has served as the inaugural Chairperson for the NFL’s Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) Employee Resource Group where he works to promote the integration of DEI initiatives into the NFL business plan, focus groups and educational/cultural awareness trainings.  Prior to his work at the NFL, Andrew was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Zambia where he worked alongside the Zambian Ministry of Education on strengthening its radio education and open & distance learning initiatives

    Gabbie Brown

    Sr. Program Coordinator

    Gabbie Brown graduated from Penn State University and later pursued a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College. While completing her Master's, she participated in the National Urban Fellows program and served as the Director of Community Advancement at Chica Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on bridging the opportunity divide for young women of color. Following the completion of her fellowship, Gabbie returned to her family's law firm, Brown Law, LLC, as Operations Manager. During her tenure, she implemented operational strategies that enhanced efficiency and enabled the practice to continue operating during the pandemic. For the past three years, Gabbie has been working as the Coordinator, Collectively Bargained Player Benefits at the National Football League, where she has been responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of all Player Benefits.

    A.J. Forbes

    Program Coordinator

    In his role as a coordinator, A.J. spearheads Career Portal expansion efforts, assists with the planning and execution of career fairs and ultimately helps improve the quality of life of retired NFL players through sustainable career opportunities. While working at PCF, A.J. is a member of the Racial Equity Committee (REC) and resides in Orlando, Florida, where he is pursuing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s in Sports Business Management (MSBM) at the University of Central Florida. At UCF, A.J. also serves as a lead graduate assistant for Dr. Richard Lapchick at The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) – where he leads efforts on Racial and Gender Report Cards for various professional leagues, including the NFL. Before PCF, the Iowa-native and oldest of four received his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa prior to relocating to Washington, DC, for an internship with The Trust (Powered by the NFLPA).

    Nakia Griffin-Stewart

    Operations Coordinator

    Nakia Griffin-Stewart is an Operations Coordinator for the NFL Player Care Foundation. A New Jersey native, Nakia is a Rutgers University and University of Pittsburgh alum who played Tight End in the NFL for six teams – Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, and Indianapolis Colts – over the course of three seasons.

    Prior to working at PCF, Nakia spent time working with Salvation Army’s Homelessness Rescue Program, University of Pittsburgh Football, New Jersey State Police Special Operation Unit K9 Division, and is the owner of NGS Real Estate, a real estate company focused on helping NFL players, personnel, and staff find in-season and off-season housing.

    In his free time, Nakia enjoys giving back to his community by participating in annual youth football camps, holiday charity drives, children hospital visits, and speaking at schools and youth detention centers.

  • 12.05.2023
  • How Resilience, Transferable Skills, and a Super Bowl Career Fair Launched Trey Watts’ Career in Talent Acquisition
  • 11.15.2023
  • How Resilience and Preparation landed T.J. Jones on Microsoft’s Roster
  • 11.08.2023
  • The Power of the Follow Up: How Robert Turbin Leveraged his NFL Experience for a Broadcasting Career
  • 10.30.2023
  • How Transferable Skills have Driven NFL Legend Rod Trafford to the Intersection of Sports Technology and Player Performance
  • 10.30.2023
  • How NFL Legend Julius Thomas Continued his Pursuit of Mastery after his NFL Experience
  • 10.09.2023
  • How NFL Legend R.J. Stanford used his NFL Experience to Launch his Cybersecurity Career
  • 09.26.2022
  • Giants’ beloved athletic trainer Ronnie Barnes joining Ring of Honor
  • 10.09.2020
  • October - Power the Polls
  • 10.09.2020
  • October - Social Justice Feature
  • 10.09.2020
  • October - Legends Podcast
  • 09.24.2020
  • September - The Latest From the Player's Coalition
  • 09.24.2020
  • September - Gideon's Promise
  • 09.24.2020
  • September - Life Beyond the Game
  • 07.15.2020
  • July - Pro Football Hall of Fame Preseason Opener Canceled
  • 07.15.2020
  • July - Cigna EAP Resource Guide
  • 07.15.2020
  • July is #Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
  • 06.17.2020
  • NFL's Expanded Commitment to Social Justice
  • 03.24.2020
  • March - Events update
  • 03.24.2020
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement: Benefits update
  • 03.18.2020
  • COVID-19 Resources