OS Will Return for 2005 Season

(July 1) In the wake of the annual AFL summer roster freeze, the Dragons announced today that offensive specialist Kevin Swayne has re-signed with the team for two seasons. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Swayne originally rejoined the Dragons this past season after spending a successful three-year career in the NFL with the New York Jets.

"The story on Kevin Swayne is that he’s not only an elite offensive specialist, but that he also has the team leadership quality that pulls teams together for a common goal,” said Dragons Director of Player Personnel Rory Vacco. “Bringing Kevin back puts the organization right on track to bring New York an Arena Football championship."

The 2005 season will be Swayne’s third with the Dragons and fifth overall with the franchise. He started his AFL career with the Iowa Barnstormers in 1998 and was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team at OS. The 1999 season saw him continue to grow as a receiver as he caught 98 passes for 32 touchdowns. His breakout season occurred in the Dragons inaugural 2001 season when he made 131 receptions for 1890 yards and 43 touchdowns. On July 7 of that year, Swayne tied an AFL single-game record with seven touchdown catches in the Dragons’ 99-68 victory over the Carolina Cobras. He is also the Dragons/Barnstormers career leader in yards gained with 4,719 and touchdown receptions with 95.

After his record-breaking 2001 AFL season, Swayne went onto sign with the Jets for their 2001 campaign. During that season he played in 15 games and started in two. He finished his first full NFL season with 13 receptions for 203 yards, which included his stellar Week 14 performance when he made four receptions for 74 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2002 season also saw him play in 15 games and for the second straight season he averaged 15.6 yards per catch. Also in 2002, he played in his first NFL post-season game in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. In the Jets loss to the Oakland Raiders, Swayne made one reception for 12 yards.

The 2003 season saw Swayne make a big impact on Monday Night Football in the Jets 24-17 win over the Tennessee Titians. In the third quarter of the game, Swayne caught a 27-yard pass from QB Chad Pennington, which gave the Jets their first lead of the game. The play was one of the highlights of the game and with his touchdown the Jets would go on to win the contest in front of a national audience.

In total, Swayne’s three seasons saw him play in 45 games with two starts. He caught 20 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown.

Aside from the Jets, Swayne also spent time with three other NFL squads. In 1997, he was signed by Chicago Bears and attended their pre-season camp before being one of the last players released prior to the start of the regular season. Later that season he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and placed on their practice squad. Swayne then spent the entire 2000 season on the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad.

Another stop in his career saw Swayne spending time in the now defunct XFL. He holds the honor of catching the first ever touchdown in the history of the league and spent the 2001 XFL season with the Orlando Rage.

After a three-year absence from the AFL, Swayne rejoined the Dragons prior to the team’s Week 10 game against Columbus this past season. Unfortunately he suffered an injury the following week which kept him out of the lineup until the last week of the season. In total, his returning 2004 season saw him make 11 receptions for 163 yards and four touchdowns.

The 2005 season is expected to be a big a year for the offensive specialist from Wayne State. He is projected to start at the OS position next season and team with QB Aaron Garcia to re-form one of the most effective one-two punches in AFL history. Aside from his on-field contributions, the community will be enlightened by his off-field presence as well with possible functions or events in the Long Island area. In the past, Swayne has been generously involved in community clubs and centers with the Dragons and the New York Jets.

Dragons 2005 season tickets are currently on sale. Fans interested can call 1-866-AFL-TIXX for more information. Stay tuned to NewYorkDragons.com during the coming weeks for off-season news and updates.