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BREAKING: Arizona Rattlers, Maurice Purify part ways

Adam Markowitz
Monday May 11, 2015

We didn't know it at the time, but the 2012 Arizona Rattlers were the start of one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the Arena Football League. Maurice Purify was a huge part of that success, and he went on to help the team win three straight championships. On Monday though, Purify was placed on reassignment, ending his time with the three-time defending champions.

Purify took to Facebook to make his farewell statement to Arizona on Monday afternoon.

"I always thought I would be giving this speech when I retired as a Rattler. First I wanna say thanks to the Arizona Rattlers owner Rod Shurts has put together a first class organization. He has been the best owner I've ever played for. Then I wanna say thanks to coach KG he has built something special here in AZ. He knows how to get he best out of players. He has made me a better and smarter player and person. Then then fans thanks for everything you do for us. You are the best, you guys know how to make the players feel special. You have a lot of knowledge of the game a respect the hard work we put in every week. To my teammates I wanna say thanks. Y'all helped me get to where I wanted to be as a football player. Every player plays to win championship and I was blessed to win three of them with you guys. That's something people won't have a chance to do one time we was able to do it three times that's something special. Wanna wish y'all luck on your four peat. This isn't a retirement post I will be back on the field still have a lot in the tank. I will return and be one of the best receivers in the league. I'll win another championship somewhere don't know where yet, but I will get my forth ring. Free agency has know started."

Purify suffered a knee injury at the tail end of last season, an injury which he is still in the process of rehabbing. The Nebraska product hasn't played in a game since Week 19 of last season.

There is no denying though, the fact that Purify has been a monster when he has been on the field. In 2012, his first year with the Rattlers, he had six straight games with at least 100 receiving yards to start off the season, and in the playoffs when it mattered the most, he had a total of 28 receptions for 419 yards and 16 receiving scores, one of the best postseasons we have ever seen from a receiver in AFL history.

Including the playoffs, Purify had 28 games with at least 100 receiving yards out of 43 games. He averaged 90.9 receiving yards per game with Arizona, and he was good for an average of just under two touchdowns per game.

However, Purify has been injured a ton as well. Even though he has played in 43 games for Arizona, he has missed 26 games as well. He hasn't had a full healthy season since his rookie campaign with the Georgia Force in 2011.

The Rattlers do have a glut of receivers at their disposal, including Rod Windsor, Markee White, Kerry Reed and Chase Deadder, which did make Purify a bit expendable. Anyone who has watched this team though, knows that outside of Windsor, the best receiver on the field whenever he has been out there has been Big Mo.

Arizona is also missing another big-bodied receiver who can box out and go get the football down by the goal line. The Rattlers do have White who stands at 6-foot-7, but Purify plays a lot bigger than his 6-foot-3 frame, and he is a tremendous matchup nightmare for defenses when he is healthy.

ArenaFan's Matt Loeschman helped with the compilation of this report.

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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