Force Re-sign Veterans Gaines And Keys
ATLANTA (July 1, 2004) – The Georgia Force, of the Arena Football League, announced today the re-signing of two key free agents from last year's team. The Force have reached contract agreements with Defensive Specialist Kevin Gaines and Offensive/Defensive Lineman Marcus Keys.
“It was important for us to re-sign both Kevin and Marcus for next season early in the free agency process because they are valuable pieces to what we are trying to build here with the Force,” explained head coach Bob Kronenberg. “They are both veteran players that have given this team a lot of leadership over the last two seasons.”
GAINES (6-1, 205, Louisville) was named to the AFL's All-Arena Second Team this year after leading the Force in tackles (75.5); pass break-ups (13) and interceptions (4) adding a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season. A key member on special teams, he recorded 7 kickoff returns on the year gaining 64 yards, including a 47-yard return vs. Carolina on May 29 th . Gaines turned in his best defensive performances in the Force's last two games of the season setting a new team record for most pass break-ups in a game with 6 vs. Austin on May 23 rd and scoring two touchdowns vs. Carolina on a 14-yard interception return and a fumble recovery in the end zone. He was one of only four players to play in all 16 games this year. A seven-year veteran, Gaines has played with the Force for the past two seasons.
KEYS (6-3, 280, North Alabama) w as a mainstay and leader on the Force offensive/defensive line last season playing in 13 games, while collaring 13 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. Over his four-year AFL career, he has recorded 57.5 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception. A former seventh-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1996, Keys signed with the Force in 2003 as a free agent.