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Two Players Return to the Empire Roster from 2018

ALBANY - The Albany Empire announce that four players have been assigned to the team roster on the opening day of free agency.  Per League and team rules, terms are not disclosed.  Of the four players assigned, two were on the roster during the team’s inaugural season. The free agency signing period for the Arena Football League began at 12 a.m. on Monday March 4. 

“With the free agency period open, we are very excited to be adding guys to the Empire roster for the 2019 season,” said Rob Keefe, Head Coach of the Albany Empire.  “We have been working extremely hard this offseason on constantly improving as a team and bringing in the best competition to create a team that will compete for an ArenaBowl championship. We can’t wait to get on the field and get to work!”

Tommy Grady, Quarterback

Tommy Grady returns to the Empire after leading the team to a successful inaugural season.  As Albany’s quarterback in 2018, Grady led the team to an 8-4 record and the top seed in the playoffs.  The veteran quarterback racked up 81 passing touchdowns and 2,960 yards, leading the League in both categories.  His efforts earned him his second career League MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Arena honors. Grady and his family have made a home in Albany and he loves to constantly be in the community giving back to fans for their support of him and the team.

Tevin Homer, Defensive Back

A Florida native, Tevin Homer will play his first season in the AFL with the Empire in 2019.  Transferring to Florida Atlantic University for his junior and senior season, Homer quickly became recognized for his efforts on defense and special teams.  The defensive back spent the 2017 NFL preseason with the Washington Redskins, and worked out with the Carolina Panthers and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) in 2018.  Homer is excited to experience Arena Football and looks forward to playing on Transfinder Field in front of Empire fans in 2019.

Dez Stewart, Wide Receiver

Another rookie, Kentucky born Dez Stewart brings plenty of professional football experience to the Empire in his short time removed from college.  Stewart starred at Ohio Dominican University, racking up numerous awards and accolades such as Preseason All-American, All-Ohio Division II, and All-Conference.  He holds the school record for 187 receiving yards in a single game.  After graduation, Stewart spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, and Green Bay Packers in 2016.  In 2017, the wide receiver experienced brief stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions.  Stewart is “100 percent all-in” for 2019 and looks forward to being in Albany for his first taste in the AFL.

Jordan Williams, Wide Receiver

Entering his second season in the Arena Football League, Jordan Williams returns to the Empire after spending his rookie year with the team.  Williams caught four passes in his rookie season between the regular season and playoffs, three of which went for touchdowns.  He led the Empire in kick returns (18) and kick return yards (269) in just nine games last season.  Williams has spent much of the offseason in the Capital Region training and making appearances within the community. The western New York native is ecstatic to be returning the Albany for 2019 and looks improve on a solid rookie season for the Empire in the team’s sophomore season.

Fans can secure season tickets for the Albany Empire by calling 518-533-2200, by going to, or by stopping by the Empire office located in the Times Union Center.  A limited number of great seats are still available!  Want to bring your organization to a game, fundraise, or perform on the field? Group experiences are now on sale.  Call 518-533-2200 for additional information.

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 the Arena Football League

The Arena Football League enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, O.H., the League totals six teams for 2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Each team will play 12 regular-season games in 2019. One can find the League can on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

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.

About Transfinder

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Schenectady, New York, Transfinder is a national leader in intelligent transportation systems, providing transportation management systems and services to school districts, municipalities and adult care facilities. Transfinder, an Inc. magazine “fastest-growing company” for the past eleven straight years, has offices in Austin, Texas, and Shanghai, China. The software company develops and supports routing and scheduling solutions for optimal transportation logistics.

Albany Empire Partners

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