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Jones Spent the 2018 NFL Preseason with the Chicago Bears

ALBANY - 2018 Albany Empire wide receiver Malachi Jones weighs a potential comeback to Albany after being released by the National Football League’s Chicago Bears.  Jones won Rookie of the Year, Wide Receiver of the Year and was named First Team All-Arena in his debut season in the Arena Football League with the Empire.   

After spending the entire NFL preseason on the Bears’ 90-man roster, Jones returns to the Capital District to consider his playing options moving forward.  In limited action with the Bears, Jones primarily played on special teams.  Jones had a small sample of snaps on offense, getting targeted once in his final preseason game.

“There is always the possibility to come back next season,” said Jones.  “Now I just have to see what happens and what opportunities come around in the next few months.  My time in Chicago was great and I am thankful to have the opportunity to keep pursuing my NFL dream.”

The Capital Region will embrace Jones should he decide to return to the Empire.  A fan favorite, Jones led the league in receiving yards (1,156) and total touchdowns (34).  He finished second in receiving touchdowns (29) and fourth in receptions (77). 

“Malachi took the league by storm last year and we would of course love to see him in an Empire uniform again next season,” said Rob Keefe, Head Coach of the Albany Empire.  “The whole organization is beyond proud of what he’s accomplished at this point in his career and we fully support whatever decision he makes as he continues to his goal of being in the NFL.”

Currently, no players are eligible to be assigned to any team in the AFL.  The “no contact period” for the league will remain in effect until all offseason dates and events have been finalized by the Board of Directors.

Albany Empire 2019 Season Presented By CDPHP.

About Albany Empire

Season memberships for the 2019 season are on sale now. For tickets, contact the Albany Empire sales department at (518) 533-2200 or by going to Follow the team on Facebook at and Twitter at

About Arena Football League

The Arena Football League will enter its 31st Season in 2018. Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. Teams slated for 2018 include: Albany, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. CBS Sports Network nationally broadcasts AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl. The AFL launched AFLNow, the League’s streaming “Over-the-Top” network to give fans even more access to the League on For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball)

About Times Union Center

Albany’s Times Union Center, formerly Pepsi Arena, continues to have great success. Renamed in January 2007, the Times Union Center is “Upstate New York’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Facility. Owned by Albany County and operated by SMG, the world’s largest private management firm for public assembly facilities, the Times Union Center has an adaptable seating capacity between 6,000 and 17,500. Since Frank Sinatra christened the building on January 30, 1990, more than seven million patrons have walked through the turnstiles. As a multi-purpose facility, the Times Union Center has hosted a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and sporting events, averaging 165 events each year.

About CDPHP®

Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 26 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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