ALBANY– The Albany Empire announce that four players have been assigned to the team roster on the opening day of free agency. Per League and team rules, terms are not disclosed. Of the four players assigned, two were on the roster during the team’s inaugural season. The free agency signing period for the Arena Football League began at 12 a.m. on Monday March 4.
“With the free agency period open, we are very excited to be adding guys to the Empire roster for the 2019 season,” said Rob Keefe, Head Coach of the Albany Empire. “We have been working extremely hard this offseason on constantly improving as a team and bringing in the best competition to create a team that will compete for an ArenaBowl championship. We can’t wait to get on the field and get to work!”
Tommy Grady, Quarterback
Tommy Grady returns to the Empire after leading the team to a successful inaugural season. As Albany’s quarterback in 2018, Grady led the team to an 8-4 record and the top seed in the playoffs. The veteran quarterback racked up 81 passing touchdowns and 2,960 yards, leading the League in both categories. His efforts earned him his second career League MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Arena honors. Grady and his family have made a home in Albany and he loves to constantly be in the community giving back to fans for their support of him and the team.
Tevin Homer, Defensive Back
A Florida native, Tevin Homer will play his first season in the AFL with the Empire in 2019. Transferring to Florida Atlantic University for his junior and senior season, Homer quickly became recognized for his efforts on defense and special teams. The defensive back spent the 2017 NFL preseason with the Washington Redskins, and worked out with the Carolina Panthers and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) in 2018. Homer is excited to experience Arena Football and looks forward to playing on Transfinder Field in front of Empire fans in 2019.
Dez Stewart, Wide Receiver
Another rookie, Kentucky born Dez Stewart brings plenty of professional football experience to the Empire in his short time removed from college. Stewart starred at Ohio Dominican University, racking up numerous awards and accolades such as Preseason All-American, All-Ohio Division II, and All-Conference. He holds the school record for 187 receiving yards in a single game. After graduation, Stewart spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, and Green Bay Packers in 2016. In 2017, the wide receiver experienced brief stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions. Stewart is “100 percent all-in” for 2019 and looks forward to being in Albany for his first taste in the AFL.
Jordan Williams, Wide Receiver
Entering his second season in the Arena Football League, Jordan Williams returns to the Empire after spending his rookie year with the team. Williams caught four passes in his rookie season between the regular season and playoffs, three of which went for touchdowns. He led the Empire in kick returns (18) and kick return yards (269) in just nine games last season. Williams has spent much of the offseason in the Capital Region training and making appearances within the community. The western New York native is ecstatic to be returning the Albany for 2019 and looks improve on a solid rookie season for the Empire in the team’s sophomore season.
Fans can secure season tickets for the Albany Empire by calling 518-533-2200, by going to TheAlbanyEmpire.com, or by stopping by the Empire office located in the Times Union Center. A limited number of great seats are still available! Want to bring your organization to a game, fundraise, or perform on the field? Group experiences are now on sale. Call 518-533-2200 for additional information.