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Sharks Add Three All-Arena Defenders in Flurry of Moves

September 6, 2013 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Jacksonville Sharks News Release

JACKSONVILLE - The 2013 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks and Arena Football League announced Friday that the team has made several additions through the Off-Season Assignment Process. The team has added All-Arena defensive back Kent Richardson, All-Arena defensive lineman Caesar Rayford, and All-Arena Jack linebacker Kelvin Morris.

The Sharks acquired the 26-year-old Richardson (6'0" 200) as part of a trade with the Philadelphia Soul. In 2012, he earned Defensive Back of the Year honors following a dominating performance that included 80.5 total tackles, 14 interceptions, 15 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Richardson tied for the league lead with those 14 picks, adding a fumble recovery in the postseason as well. Richardson debuted with the Soul in 2011, racking up 64 tackles during his rookie season in the AFL.

Richardson spent the 2013 season on the Other League Exempt list, as he signed with the National Football League's Cleveland Browns. Richardson was recently waived by the Browns. In exchange for Richardson, the Sharks traded wide receiver Jeff Hughley to Philadelphia.

The 27-year-old Rayford (6'7", 275) has spent each of his four AFL seasons with the Utah Blaze. A consistent performer throughout his career, Rayford has totaled at least six sacks in each of his campaigns in the league. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, earning First-Team All-Arena honors after racking up 10 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and seven pass breakups. For his career, Rayford has totaled 29.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 16 pass breakups.

During the 2013 season, Rayford was placed on the Other League Exempt list after signing with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. Rayford has since been traded to the Dallas Cowboys and is currently a member of the Cowboys' active roster.

A five-year AFL veteran, the 31-year-old Morris (6'5" 240) spent each of the last three seasons with the Chicago Rush. In 2012, Morris tied an all-time single season AFL record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns. He put together his best season in 2011, when he earned First-Team All-Arena honors. That season, Morris totaled 64 tackles, seven pass breakups and nine interceptions.

Morris first broke into the AFL with the Utah Blaze in 2008, recording 12 pass breakups and six fumble recoveries as a rookie. The Clemson University and Southwest Mississippi Community College product also played for the Arizona Rattlers in 2010.

On Friday, the Sharks also announced that the team has exercised one-year rookie options on wide receiver London Crawford, fullback R.J. Bibbs, defensive lineman Mark Crawford and offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath.

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