Empire release QB Dowdell, Sign RB Pierce & other moves May 24, 2017 13:30:19 GMT -8
Post by David on May 24, 2017 13:30:19 GMT -8
QB Charles Dowdell was released on Tuesday (image credit: James Snook / Special to the Spokesman-Review)
SPOKANE, WA - The Spokane Empire made multiple moves on Tuesday, including the release of starting QB Charles Dowdell.
A key member of the Empire's Intense Conference Championship team in their first season in the Indoor Football League in 2016, Dowdell helped lead the Empire to a 12-4 record and the Intense Conference Championship. He completed 61.9% of his passes (263-of-425) for 2,735 yards, 63 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. This season, despite ranking 4th in the IFL with 40 touchdown passes, his production took a dip. Although he's shown flashes of the individual that was named 2016 Second Team All-IFL, he completed only 56.7% of his passes for 1,750 yards and 16 interceptions, the second highest in the IFL.
The release of Dowdell comes at a critical time for Spokane, who are in the middle of a 3-game losing streak. With a record of 7-5, the Empire have fallen into third place in the Intense Conference and a game out of a playoff spot.
From the outside looking in, the move appears to be in response to a combination of his struggles this season and the disappointing 45-36 loss to the Colorado Crush last Thursday night, in which Dowdell completed 12-of-22 passes for 135 yards, 1 touchdown pass and 2 interceptions. He was pulled in the 4th Quarter in favor of Aaron Wilmer, who helped spark a comeback attempt. Despite only going 2-of-5 passing, Wilmer threw for 70 yards, including a 39 yard touchdown pass to Samuel Charles. Wilmer also had a 7 yard rushing touchdown to pull within 2 points.
Dowdell had been the Empire's starting quarterback since the team's Indoor Football League debut in February 2016. With his release, it leaves Wilmer as the only active QB on the roster. The team will likely sign another QB as Wilmer should get his first start on Friday night.
Pierce, Burnett signed
RB Andrew Pierce returns to Spokane (image credit: Paul Morgan / The Spokesman-Review)
In addition to Dowdell's release, the Empire remained active on the transaction wire this week, signing RB Andrew Pierce and Kaelin Burnett to the active roster.
Pierce (5'9'', 210 lbs, Deleware) returns for his second stint as a member of the Empire. Initially signed in the 2016 Offseason as a free agent, he did not suit up for Spokane until the team's playoff run. He appeared in two playoff games, including the Intense Conference Championship and the United Bowl, rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown
An All-IFL selection with the Tri-Cities Fever in 2015, Pierce rushed for 415 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 46 passes for 406 yards and 6 TDs.
DL Kaelin Burnett becomes the newest member of the Empire (image credit: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)
Burnett (6'4'', 250 lbs, Nevada) joins an Empire defensive line in an effort to bolster up its pass rush and strengthen its run defense. An undrafted free agent in the 2012 NFL Draft, he played from 2012-2014 with the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and Tennessee Titans. In total, he appeared in 21 games, registering 15 total tackles and a forced fumble. He also played one game with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016.
K Jackson released
K Brian Jackson (image credit: Brian Jackson / michaelhusted.com)
The team's transaction wire also listed that K Brian Jackson had also been released.
The move was expected, as Jackson was added to the active roster last Wednesday as the team's emergency kicker, filling in for rookie Brendan Garcia. A member of the Spokane Shock from 2008-2009, Jackson went 1 of 3 on Field Goals with a long of 20 yards, and 3 of 4 on extra points.
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