Realty One

Thursday, April 4, 2019


(#20 Zac Stacy in 2018 Roughriders training camp)
The Alliance of American Football League ceased operations this week which is the last step before folding.

The fledging American football loop was heavily-scouted by CFL and NFL types and you can bet personnel folk are busy picking at the carcasses of AAF teams for talent before training camps open next month.

In fact the Saskatchewan Roughriders are holding a free agent walk-on camp this weekend in Vero Beach, FL. It's a safe bet some refugees from the AAF will plunk down their cash for a chance to continue their careers north of the border.

So with the AAF belly-up - and with the help of Albert Breer from SI's MMQB - here are some names of players we may see in Canada in 2019:

WR Mark Chapman, Salt Lake: The #1 overall pick in the 2018 CFL Draft never actually played an AAF game due to personal reasons, but is a free agent in America after failed tryouts with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. If he elects to resume his career, in Canada, it'll be as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

OL Brett Boyko, San Diego: The 26-year old Saskatoon product remains property of the BC Lions who selected him in the 3rd round of the CFL Draft. He's spent parts of four seasons in the NFL with the Eagles and Chargers. Although Lions property, there have been rumours the Lions may make him available for trade. Possibly to Saskatchewan.

WR Brian Tyms, Salt Lake: The AAF never even last a full season but this mercurial wideout managed to suit up for two different teams (Orlando and Salt Lake). The Florida A&M product spent three seasons in the CFL with Hamilton and Toronto and gloated on Twitter about taking his talents to the AAF. Now, he may come crawling back to the 3-down game.

CB Ciante Evans, Salt Lake: The Calgary Stampeders star signed with the Salt Lake Stallions on February 19. If he goes anywhere, it's likely Calgary where he's been a mainstay in their dynasty.

QB Garrett Gilbert, Orlando: A former high-profile high-school recruit, Gilbert has always had tools, but has never realized his potential. He led the AAF with 2,152 passing yards, and posted an impressive 13–3 TD–INT ratio.

QB John Wolford, Arizona: The scheme will have to be right, but Wolford showed potential as a shifty, if small, quarterback, in throwing for 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was in camp with the Jets last summer.

QB Johnny Manziel, Memphis: Just kidding. He's been banned from the CFL by Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and all teams have been warned not to sign him. And, once again, Johnny Football is looking for a place to play.

QB Marquise Williams, San Antonio: Williams saw limited action with the Commanders but broke many of Darian Durant’s records at UNC. Once potentially seen as “The Next One” in Saskatchewan, it’s a good bet Williams will try his hand in Canada again. He had a cup of coffee with Green Bay in 2016.

RB Zac Stacy, Memphis: Stacy (pictured above) was picked in the fifth round of the 2013 draft by the Rams, and the former Vanderbilt player looked promising as a rookie before injuries torpedoed his career and led to an early retirement. He showed flashes of his NFL self at the beginning of the AAF season, but got hurt again.

WR Charles Johnson, Orlando: Johnson’s speed has always tantalized NFL teams, and he put together a respectable 2014 season for Minnesota (31 catches, 475 yards). His 687 receiving yards led the AAF.

WR Rashad Ross, Arizona: This 29-year-old has spent the last nine years bouncing on and off NFL practice squads and camp rosters. He led the AAF with seven touchdowns catches as part of a 36-catch season, but his age is his enemy.

WR Jalin Marshall, Orlando: Talent hasn’t been the primary issue with Marshall over the years—after declaring for the draft early, he was drafted by the Jets in 2016, but was suspended to start the ’17 season and cut thereafter. Marshall finished with 26 catches in the AAF.

DE Karter Schult, Salt Lake: Schult had outrageous sack production in college at Northern Iowa (31 over his last two years) but he washed out of the NFL after shots with the Browns and Panthers. But that collegiate production did carry over to the AAF, where he had seven sacks.

DE Damontre Moore, San Diego: This former Texas A&M star was once seen as a first-round draft prospect, but character flags caused a fall to the third round in 2013. The 26-year-old bounced around the NFL for six years before landing in the AAF, where he had seven sacks.

NT Mike Purcell, Salt Lake: Purcell, a 328-pound run-plugger who actually started eight NFL games for the Niners over three years, showed his ability against the run in the AFF and actually flashed some pass rush (3 sacks) too.

OLB Jayrone Elliott, San Antonio: The 27-year-old former Packer and Cowboy, who showed promise early in his NFL career, led the AAF in sacks (7.5). That’s should land him somewhere in the NFL in the coming weeks.

CB Keith Reaser, Orlando: A fifth-round pick in 2014, Reaser made it through three coaching changes in San Francisco before getting cut in September 2017. An injury short-circuited the 2018 season for him in KC, and he was stellar in the AAF.

FS Derron Smith, San Antonio: This 2015 sixth-rounder spent two-and-a-half years with the Bengals, before hooking on with the Browns in mid-2017. He didn’t make it out of camp last year, but his three-pick AAF season could earn him another shot.

(With files from Albert Breer/MMQBSI)


Unknown said...

Just to see if we are paying Football back to CFL.

SWC said...

Former Rider QB Marquise Williams had a 73.5 completion rate in limited action with San Antonio Commanders.