Sharks Retain Core During Exclusive Period
Wednesday September 24, 2014
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks announced Wednesday that the team has utilized the Arena Football League’s Exclusive Period to retain a significant portion of the team’s roster.
During the exclusive period, the Sharks agreed to contracts with quarterback R.J. Archer, wide receiver London Crawford, wide receiver Jeron Harvey, offensive lineman Cornelius Lewis, defensive back Micheaux Robinson, wide receiver/defensive back Terrance Smith and defensive lineman Jerry Turner. Each of the preceding players has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster for the 2015 season. Wide receiver/kick returner Jeff Hughley remains under contract, as he was assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a three-year deal prior to the 2013 season.
The Sharks also exercised one-year rookie options for defensive back George Baker, defensive back Xavier Brewer, defensive back Brodrick Brown, wide receiver Charles Gilbert, defensive back Keiron Jones, defensive lineman James McClinton, and fullback Jared McGriff-Culver, each of whom ended the 2014 season on the team’s roster.
In addition, the Sharks exercised one-year rookie options for quarterback Alex Carder, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard and wide receiver Bert Reed, each of whom ended the 2014 season on the Other League Exempt list.
Finally, the team acquired wide receiver Chris Summers from the Los Angeles KISS, completing future considerations from a trade originally made during the 2014 season. Summers was part of three-team trade that brought Baker and McClinton to the Sharks in exchange for quarterback Aaron Garcia.
The 27-year-old Archer (6’2”, 220) enters his fifth season in the AFL and third in Jacksonville. After serving as the team’s backup quarterback during in 2014, Archer took on the starting role this past season, getting the nod under center in all but one of the team’s games. In 2014, Archer ranked third among all AFL quarterbacks with 4,661 passing yards and fifth with 92 touchdown passes. Overall, he went 367-of-634 (57.9%) through the air, ranking fifth in the league with an average of 12.7 yards per completion.
The 27-year-old Crawford (6’3”, 205) is set to begin his third season with the Sharks and in the Arena Football League. During the 2013 season, Crawford was in the midst of a breakout campaign before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 11. Among the league leaders in each major receiving category at the time of his injury, Crawford finished the season ranked second on his team with 23 touchdown catches, and third in both receptions (75) and receiving yards (975).
A Jacksonville native, the 30-year-old Harvey (6’5”, 220) is set for his sixth season with the Sharks and in the Arena Football League. He is one of just three players to suit up for the Sharks in each of the team’s first five seasons as a franchise. In 2014, Harvey battled through a mid-season injury to finish as one of the Sharks’ leading receivers, as he ranked second on the team with 82 receptions and third with 966 yards and 22 touchdowns. Harvey attended Jackson High School.
The 29-year-old Hughley enters his fourth season with the Sharks and fifth overall campaign in the AFL. Hughley appeared in Jacksonville’s final four games of the 2014 season, catching 32 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns. A prolific kick returner, Hughley recorded at least 158 all-purpose yards in every game in which he played this past season.
The 28-year-old Lewis (6’5”, 335) is a Jacksonville native who is set for his third season with the Sharks and fifth overall campaign in the AFL. Lewis has been a mainstay in the Sharks’ lineup since first joining the team, as he made 16 starts along the offensive line in 2014. In addition to his primary blocking duties, Lewis also hauled in three receptions for 39 yards. Lewis attended Raines High School.
The 31-year-old Robinson (5’9”, 185) is one of just three players to suit up for the Sharks in each of the team’s first five seasons as a franchise. Robinson is set to enter his seventh overall season in the Arena Football League. As a mainstay of the Sharks’ secondary, Robinson is the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles (375), pass breakups (139) and interceptions (33). This past season, Robinson led the Sharks with 82 total tackles (76 solo) and 22 pass breakups while finishing second on the team with five interceptions.
The 27-year-old Smith (6’2”, 198) enters his fifth season with the Sharks, having spent his entire AFL career in Jacksonville. In 2014, Smith primarily played defensive back, leading the Sharks with seven interceptions while adding 40.5 tackles (34 solo), 12 pass breakups and a forced fumble. Before his season was ultimately cut short due to injury, Smith also contributed at wide receiver, hauling in 14 receptions for 219 yards and six touchdowns. Five of those six touchdown catches came in Smith’s final two appearances of the 2014 campaign.
One of the longest-tenured players in the entire Arena Football League, the 36-year-old Turner (6’3”, 265) is on track for his third season in Jacksonville and ninth overall AFL campaign. Turner has started every single game in his two-year Shark career, racking up 7.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss during the 2014 season. While applying consistent pressure from his defensive end spot, Turner also recovered three fumbles, forced another, knocked down three passes, blocked two kicks and recorded a safety in 2014.
The 24-year-old Baker (6’0”, 190) first joined the Sharks following a mid-season trade from the Los Angeles KISS. Baker appeared in two games with the Sharks before suffering a season-ending injury in the team’s Week 14 game against the Orlando Predators. Baker registered one solo tackle in 2014.
A Jacksonville native, the 24-year-old Brewer (5’11”, 195) appeared in all 18 games during his rookie campaign, making 15 starts. Brewer finished second on the team with 69.5 total tackles (58 solo) and 13 pass breakups, adding three interceptions, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and 1.5 tackles for loss. Brewer pulled down an interception in both the season opener and season finale. Brewer attended Bartram Trail High School.
The 24-year-old Brown (5’9”, 185) saw action in 16 games during his first season in the AFL, making seven starts in the secondary. A factor on special teams from the beginning of the season, Brown saw more action on defense later in the year. He finished third on the team with 58.5 total tackles (51 solo), adding a tackle for loss, an interception and two pass breakups.
The 27-year-old Gilbert (5’11”, 180) is a Jacksonville native who joined the Sharks during the middle of the 2014 season, catching two touchdown passes in his Week 13 AFL debut. Overall, Gilbert appeared in three games before suffering a season-ending injury, collecting 12 receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Gilbert attended Ridgeview High School.
The 26-year-old Jones (5’9”, 180) competed with the Sharks in training camp before returning to the team in early July. He made his AFL debut in the season finale against the Los Angeles KISS, making a significant impact in that game with three tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.
The 28-year-old McClinton (6’1”, 315) joined the Sharks following a mid-season trade with the Iowa Barnstormers. McClinton applied constant pressure from his nose guard spot, leading the Sharks with 10.0 tackles for loss and nine sacks despite playing in just 10 of the team’s 18 games. In the Sharks’ Week 15 victory over the New Orleans VooDoo, McClinton tied a franchise record with three sacks in a single game, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
The 24-year-old McGriff-Culver (6’0”, 265) broke camp as the Sharks’ starting fullback, battling through a mid-season injury to see action in 12 games during his first season in the League. McGriff-Culver led the Sharks in rushing, totaling 177 yards and 12 touchdowns on his 65 carries. McGriff-Culver also turned each of his two receptions into scores and recorded 10.0 total tackles on special teams.
The 24-year-old Carder (6’2”, 220) served as the Sharks’ backup quarterback for a portion of the 2014 season before signing a contract with the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa RedBlacks. In limited action, Carder completed two of his three pass attempts for a total of 19 yards and caught four passes for 56 yards. Carder remains with the RedBlacks, and is currently on the team’s 1-Game Injured List.
The 27-year-old Gilyard (6’1”, 200) started each of the Sharks’ first four games before signing with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. Gilyard caught 29 passes for 309 yards and eight touchdowns, adding a score on the ground as well. Gilyard also returned 16 kickoffs for 296 yards, putting together a team-leading average of 18.5 yards per runback. Gilyard remains with the Alouettes, and is currently on the team’s 6-Game Injured List.
The 26-year-old Reed (5’11”, 180) joined the Sharks in early June, but signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before playing in a game with Jacksonville. Reed participated in Winnipeg’s training camp before being released by the team on June 20.
A Jacksonville native, the 25-year-old Summers (6’5”, 200) has spent time with several National Football League organizations after first signing with the Chicago Bears following the 2012 NFL Draft. Most recently, Summers participated in training camp with Buffalo Bills prior to the start of the 2014 NFL season. Before attending Liberty University, Summers was a standout at Ribault High School.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2015 season are now available, two tickets for as low as $99. To purchase your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.