Trade Fits Brigade like a ‘Glove’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kenny McEntyre, a veteran defensive specialist with the National Conference champion Orlando Predators and arguably the team’s highest-profile player, is bound for the Kansas City Brigade next season.

New Orleans and Georgia also were in the mix before McEntyre agreed to a multiyear deal with Kansas City on Tuesday. The Predators will get “future considerations,” but no players, in return.

The 35-year-old McEntyre is a three-time ADT Defensive Player of the Year.

“It looks like I’m going to Kansas City, and I feel fine with it,” McEntyre told the Orlando Sentinel. “I understand the business side of football.”

Faced with salary-cap issues, the Predators initially offered to restructure the last year of McEntyre’s $100,000-plus contract for considerably less money. When McEntyre, a nine-year veteran, deemed that unacceptable, the team allowed him to shop himself among other Arena Football League teams.

Kansas City seems the logical fit for McEntyre – nicknamed “The Glove” by his AFL counterparts – who played college football at Kansas State.

“When the Brigade was formed last year, I always thought about what it would be like to play there,” McEntyre said. “It’s fitting, because it feels like home since I played at K-State. I know the team has a wealth of talent and fans are behind it, so I’m ready to get to Kansas City and get this thing going.”

Brigade coach Kevin Porter knows just how much impact “The Glove” can make as Kansas City looks to build a playoff contender. Porter served as defensive backs coach in Orlando during the 1999 season and tutored McEntyre.

“This is a huge addition for us, because Kenny is exactly the type of player we need in Kansas City to build a winner,” Porter said. “He is a playmaker who is capable of shutting down one side of the field, and he is a veteran with playoff experience who can mentor our young guys. We are very excited to bring Kenny here and see what he can do for the Brigade.”

McEntyre led Orlando with 63 solo tackles in 2006 and has 63 career interceptions. Naturally, Predators coach Jay Gruden was somber when asked about losing a key element of his defense.

“We had some young guys emerge in a big way, and Kenny was the odd man out,” Gruden told the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s meant so much to [us], but I have an obligation to keep this thing going.”

Kansas City finished its expansion season with a league-worst three wins.

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