ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10.COM) — The Albany Empire needed to make a splash to inject some positivity into an offseason marred by COVID, skepticism, coaching changes, and a tight timeline. The NAL franchise did that and more with one contract. One quarterback: Tommy Grady.
The three-time AFL MVP, who led the Empire to the 2019 ArenaBowl championship, has signed with the NAL franchise. Grady stayed in the Capital Region after the AFL folded, but hadn’t immediately committed to rejoining the Empire when the team announced its return.
“He was one of the puzzle pieces that we were missing,” said head coach Tom Menas, who has signed more than 30 players to the roster heading into Saturday’s open tryout. Of all the players that’ll suit up for the Empire, the veteran quarterback could have the greatest impact.
“Tommy [Grady] is the best indoor football quarterback in the country, all leagues across,” said Menas. The head coach compared signing Grady to the effect Tom Brady had in Tampa Bay, both on the field and the way the seven-time Super Bowl champion attracted other talented players to the team.
“His leadership alone, he captures a room” added Menas. “I mean, he captures a room if he walks into IHOP.”
Grady has 32,008 passing yards in his arena football career with 701 touchdowns, and 113 interceptions for a QB rating of 114.91.
“I can tell you with confidence that he does make everybody better.”