The first ever rules of football were written at the Massasoit Convention in 1876.
William (Pudge) Heffelfinger was paid $500 by the Allegheny Athletic Association to play in a game against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club.
The Allegheny Athletic Association became the first completely professional team.
The Morgan Athletic Club where founded in 1899 and after numerous name and location changes throughout the years, they are currently they are Arizona Cardinals (In the NFL).
In 1906 the forward pass was legalized. What started when George Parrot of Massillon threw a completion to Dan Riley, know makes up over 50% of th leagues offense.
The league suffered various problems including increases in salary, players leaving teams for the best offer repeatedly, and the use of college players still in school. Various teams met in Canton, Ohio, on August 20th 1920 to solve this problem by making a league that followed the same rules named the American Professional Football Conference . Later in Canton, Ohio, on September 17 a second meeting was held with various changes and discussions including a name change to the American Professional Football Association.
The APFA (American Professional Football Association) had its name changed officially to the NFL (National Football League). There where 18 teams taking part in the NFL.
In a meeting in Cleveland, April 23 the NFL decided to downsize its league to twelve members. They wanted to have a league with quality players and wealthy teams. Therefore the smaller less successful teams were cut from the league.
After many years of using the standard college rules, the NFL made many important changes to suit the desired style of play that they needed and desired. Three new franchises were also added that year that included Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Cincinnati Reds
The NFL created a yearly draft system in which teams would take turns selecting players going from the team with the worst season to the team with the best season, starting with the 1936 season.
A new league known as the American Football League was creates as a rival league to the NFL starting with six teams.
After various meetings the NFL and AFL agreed on a merge that included a 24 team league, with separate seasons, however an annual AFL-NFL World Championship, a combined draft, etc.