There’s the unavoidable hype of bringing guys into the Arena Football League that have “NFL experience.”
Then there’s the exciting prospect of bringing someone in who has actually been there.
Players that have been invited to training camps and were cut – no matter how early – are often listed as having professional experience, which is technically true, albeit oversimplified.
Should the Spokane Shock land a player such as former NFL first-round draft pick Reggie Williams, the résumé would back up the claim.
“We’ve had minor communication with him with hopes of him playing here, but we’ve never gotten a definitive answer from him,” first-year Shock coach Andy Olson said Wednesday regarding an anonymous source’s tip that the Shock are going after the former All-American and University of Washington standout.
Williams, or his representative, could not be reached for comment.
Williams was the ninth overall pick in the 2004 draft – the third receiver taken behind Larry Fitzgerald (third) and Roy Williams (seventh) – and caught 52 passes for Jacksonville in 2006.
The following season he reached the end zone 10 times for the Jaguars, but wasn’t re-signed after his rookie contract expired in 2008.
He was arrested twice in 2009, once after an off-duty cop tasered him in Houston, and served two years of probation on a cocaine charge as a result.
After sitting out during the 2009 season, Williams was invited to camp with the Seattle Seahawks, who signed him in April of 2010. He was released by the Seahawks that June, and hasn’t played professionally since.
“It would be huge,” Olson said. “The fans would love it of course, especially being a UW guy and a first-round draft pick.
“It would draw so much attention for the league and at the same time he would be performing and showing NFL scouts that he still is serious about playing football – so I think it would be good for everybody.”
Tennell rejoins team
Following an arrest last month for alleged sexual misconduct, Adron Tennell’s league suspension has been lifted and the veteran wide receiver has joined the team.
The 24-year-old Tennell, a substitute teacher at Irving (Texas) High School, is alleged to have had inappropriate contact with a 16-year-old student at an off-campus location on Jan. 23, Irving Independent School District director of school safety and operations Pat Lamb told an Irving newspaper.
After an investigation by the Irving Police Department, Tennell was arrested Feb. 4, but AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz recently spoke with Tennell’s legal representative and was satisfied enough with what he heard to lift the suspension. The charges have not yet been dropped.
“He’s here, he’s ready to go and we’re happy to have him back,” Olson said.
“It’s an ongoing legal matter,” Shock general manager Ryan Rigmaiden said. “We haven’t heard anything more than that.”
Tennell played in six games for the Shock last season and was a big boost for Spokane’s offense. He caught 42 passes for 469 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Offensive lineman Palauni Ma Sun and wide receiver Steven Black have been added to the Shock roster, while OL Chet Teofilo and WR Chaz Rodriquez have been placed on reassignment.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Ma Sun is the ninth player to re-sign with the Shock from 2011. He played in 11 games and recorded two receptions for 25 yards as a tight end. In 2010, Ma Sun started in 17 games for the Chicago Rush and recorded four touchdowns.
Black (6-3, 210 pounds) played for the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions the last two seasons.
Spokane also activated defensive linemen Pierre Walters and Brandon Sharpe from the physically unable to perform list, and placed WR Delric Ellington on the list.
The Shock must trim the roster from 35 to 24 players by Saturday.
The season opener for Spokane is on March 12 when the Shock host the Iowa Barnstomers.