Kartje: New leagues hope to pave alternative path for young NFL prospects

At the end of November of 1925, after three years spent dominating college football at the University of Illinois, Red Grange signed a contract with the Chicago Bears. It was decision without precedent in football’s brief history.

For the fledgling NFL, which still lagged behind the college game in terms of popularity, it was a significant step towards legitimizing the league. For the star players that followed Grange, his signing – and the 67-day barnstorming tour that accompanied it...

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