Massachusetts Pirates Building Their 2020 Roster
As the calendar moves into November, and the National Arena League season draws near, the Massachusetts Pirates are Building Their 2020 Roster and have announced the following moves:
The Massachusetts Pirates have named former Arena Football League star wide receiver Reggie Gray Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator for the upcoming season. Gray enjoyed 14 seasons of professional football; nine in the AFL and now he looks to bring his knowledge and experience to the Pirates.
The Massachusetts Pirates have signed wide receivers Lamar Jordan, Thomas Owens defensive end Roosevelt (RJ) Roberts, JD Griggs; OL Kendall Calhoun; defensive back Khalid Wooten; offensive lineman/fullback Mitchell Bell and Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield for the 2020 Season.
Jordan was a quarterback in college at the University of New Mexico and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League in 2018, going to camp as a wide receiver. Jordan said the NFL camp experience was a blessing.
After starting the 2019 season with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League, Roberts returned to Massachusetts appearing in one contest, a 70-51 victory over the New York Streets where he recorded one sack. Roberts appeared in four games with the Pirates in 2018 and was impressive on the defensive front with seven and a half sacks and nine tackles for a loss.
This past season Owens was the National Arena League’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. The 6’1″ 205 lb. receiver from Florida International appeared in 11 games and had 59 receptions for 577 yards and ten touchdowns while averaging 9.8 yards per catch and 52.5 yards per game. His 59 receptions were second on the team.
Griggs, who was a First-Team All-NAL performer in 2018, made that list again last season. During the 2019 regular season, Griggs was second in the league in sacks with 9.5 and tied for the third most tackles for a loss with 12. Griggs also led all Pirate defensive linemen in tackles with 26.5, quarterback hurries (7) and added the team’s lone safety.
After starting his collegiate career at Kentucky State and Lackawanna Community College, Calhoun (6’-7” 315 lbs.) played his final two seasons at the University of Cincinnati from 2016-2017 appearing in 10 games.
After a brief stint in the Arena Football League with Atlantic City in 2019, Wooten returned to the Pirates, who were just 1-4 at the time. Upon Wooten’s arrival, the team went on a six-game winning streak. Pirates’ President and General Manager Jawad Yatim knows that was not just a coincidence.
As a rookie last year Bennifield appeared in four games completing 18 of 33 passes for 180 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Most of his stats came in his only start, a 50 to 35 victory over the New York Streets where he was 16 of 30 for 171 yards with four touchdowns.
With his signing, Bell becomes the first player ever to be with the Pirates for three seasons. The 6’4”, 315 lb. Bell appeared in seven games last year and had two receptions for 26 yards and one touchdown. A product of Worthing High School in Houston, Texas, Bell played in four games in the 2018 season for Massachusetts.