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SaberCats reaquire DL Joe Sykes in trade with San Antonio

Tuesday January 28, 2014

 SAN JOSE, Calif. – The SaberCats announced today that they have acquired defensive lineman Joe Sykes from the San Antonio Talons in exchange for defensive lineman Jabari Fletcher and quarterback Mitch Mustain.

“We are thrilled to have Joe back in the SaberCats organization,” Head Coach/Owner Darren Arbet said. “He is truly elite at his position and is the best pass rusher in the AFL today.”

In his two full seasons of Arena Football, Sykes has earned Riddell Defensive Player of the Year, twice earned Game Tape Exchange Defensive Lineman of the Year, and has twice been named First Team All-Arena.

Sykes (6-5, 280, Southern), who played for the SaberCats during 2012, spent all of 2013 with the San Antonio Talons. Playing in all 18 games last season, Sykes posted 34.5 tackles, along with 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Those 14.5 sacks allowed Sykes to lead the league that category for the second consecutive season.

In 2012, Sykes put up one of the greatest defensive seasons in Arena Football League History en route to earning the Riddell Defensive Player of the Year award. Appearing in 17 games for the SaberCats, Sykes put up an AFL record 16.0 total sacks to go along with 33 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. He also forced five fumbles, notched an interception and recovered two more fumbles.

As a rookie in 2010, Sykes appeared in the final three games of the regular season for the Milwaukee Iron, where he posted six tackles and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

Also in 2010, Sykes attended pre-season camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. In 2009, he appeared in five games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders during their Championship campaign, making one tackle. In 2008, Sykes played for the Green Bay Blizzard of af2 where he was named the ADT Defensive Player of the Year and the Russell Athletic Lineman of the Year. He finished the year with a league leading 22 tackles for a loss and 19.5 quarterback sacks, while picking up 49 total tackles, eight forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries. In 2006, Sykes signed a three year contract on 5/9 with the Washington Redskins and spent the entire 2006 season with the team. He saw action in one regular season game and remained on the team’s active roster through the preseason of 2007.

Sykes attended Southern University and A&M College in 2005 where he led the team in tackles (53), sacks (nine-and-a-half) and tackles for loss (12).

The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats enter their 18th season in the AFL after making their return in 2011. They open up their 2014 schedule on the road against a new AFL franchise, the Portland Thunder on March 14. Fans and sponsors can go to or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2014 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.