Baltimore's Arena Football League team announces first player signings
By By a Baltimore Sun reporter
Jan 16, 2017 | 12:35 PM
The new Arena Football League team in Baltimore announces its coach for the 2017 season. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun video)
Baltimore's new Arena Football League team announced Monday that it has signed its first players, including a member of the 2014 New England Patriots Super Bowl championship team and two Maryland natives.
Defensive back Alfonzo Dennard, who was a seventh-round draft pick in 2012 for the Patriots, played for them for three seasons, including 2015 when the Patriots won the Super Bowl. In 29 games, he had 86 tackles, five interceptions and one touchdown. He earned All Big Ten First Team honors playing for the University of Nebraska.
Defensive back Travis Hawkins, of Rockville, has spent the past two seasons playing for the Canadian Football League. Hawkins, who finished his college career at Delaware after playing for Maryland for two years, had signed as a free agent with the Patriots before playing in the CFL.
Offensive lineman Leon Brown, of Riverdale, attended Alabama and played on its 2013 national championship team. He had signed with the Ravens before the 2015 season.
"It is important for us to build this roster with a good balance of veteran and rookie talent," head coach Omarr Smith said in a statement. "We like the fact that these players have come from successful programs either in college or in the NFL. We believe that these players are not only good athletes, but quality men and expect great things from them on and off the field."
Offensive linemen Kody Afusia and Ian Joseph, who both played for the L.A. KISS last season, were also assigned to Baltimore.
The team is expected to announce its name and unveil its uniforms on Jan. 25. It will hold its home opener against the Tampa Bay Storm on May 7 at Royal Farms Arena.