A group of organizers with deep NFL ties plans to launch a new professional football league, with the ambition of giving promising young players an alternative to college football that offers a salary and instruction they feel is lacking in the college game.

Pacific Pro Football aims to begin play in 2018 with four teams based in Southern California. Unlike many other start-up leagues, its talent pool will be limited to athletes who are less than four years removed from high school graduation. The goal is to give young prospects a professional outlet to prepare for the NFL, said Don Yee, the league’s CEO.

The league is launching in the midst of a growing debate about amateurism and a college model that rewards student-athletes with scholarships but not salaries. Labor lawyers have challenged the NCAA, and the battle is being waged in several court rooms across the country. Yee has been an outspoken critic of the college model and says his league will treat young athletes as employees, like any other pro sports outfit.

“As I’ve thought about this and studied it for years, I felt that it would be terrific if these emerging football players had a choice in determining how they wanted to get better at their craft,” said Yee, the longtime agent of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Along with Yee, the league is co-founded by Ed McCaffrey, a former NFL wide receiver, and Jeff Husvar, a former Fox Sports executive. Its advisory board includes former NFL coach Mike Shanahan; Mike Pereira, the league’s former officiating czar; ESPN reporter Adam Schefter; Jim Steeg, a longtime NFL executive; and veteran political strategist Steve Schmidt.

Organizers hope to eventually expand beyond California. All teams will be owned by the league, and the average player salary will be $50,000, Yee said. The league initially will play a six- to eight-game season that runs through July and August, concluding just before the NFL and college seasons begin.

While NFL officials have expressed an interest in forming a developmental league of their own, Pacific Pro Football has no relationship with the NFL. But the upstart league will be focused on preparing them for the NFL, focusing on technique and systems required at the next level.

COWBOYS: Star running back Ezekiel Elliott was involved in a minor vehicle accident not far from the team’s practice facility Wednesday. The rookie didn’t miss practice and said he wasn’t injured.

Frisco, Texas, police said there were no injuries in the accident at an intersection about a mile from Cowboys headquarters in the suburb about 30 miles north of Dallas. Police responded, but an accident report wasn’t immediately available.

Elliott wouldn’t discuss details of the crash, saying “I’m fine, I’m healthy, I’m good, it’s like nothing happened. My car is messed. That’s about it.”

CHARGERS: The deadline for the team to exercise its option to relocate to Los Angeles has been extended for two days.

The original deadline was Jan. 15. Because that is a Sunday and Monday is a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the NFL moved back the deadline until Tuesday.

San Diego would become a tenant in the stadium being built in Inglewood, California, for the Rams if the Chargers exercise that option. If not, the Oakland Raiders would have the option to join the Rams in the LA area.

WASHINGTON: Former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley interviewed for the team’s defensive coordinator job.

Bradley was fired by the Jaguars in late November after going 14-48 in three-plus seasons.

RAMS: Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan says he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to reschedule an interview with Los Angeles that was postponed last week because of weather.

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