A false start penalty provided a little bit of embarrassment for the Orlando Predators on April 23, but it wasn't a drive-killer as the Predators eventually scored QB Chris Leak from the Jacksonville Sharks on April 25 in exchange for OL/FB Ailao Eliapo.
On Monday, the Predators (1-5) announced that Leak was the newest member of the team--a story that was then run by the Orlando Sentinel.
"We would like to bring him in as the face of the franchise, and I hope he ends up as our starting quarterback," Orlando managing partner Brett Bouchy told Austin Lyon of the Sentinel at the time. "We think if we can get a good quarterback out there, we've got a good chance to make the playoffs."
The hitch was that the rights to Leak were still owned by Bouchy's brother, Jeff, and his Sharks (2-3).
"If the Predators want Leak, they have coach [Les] Moss' number and we will be more than happy to trade him," Sharks managing partner Jeff Bouchy said in a post on the Sharks' website that has since been removed. "We cannot see any scenario in which Leak will wear a Sharks uniform again."
The Predators' announcement disappeared and Leak officially remained a member of the Sharks until Wednesday, when the brothers agreed on a trade that was approved by the Arena Football League office.
Eliapo (6-foot-2, 300 pounds, San Jose State) has spent most of his time on the Preds' offensive line this season, although he has also carried the ball five times for 12 yards as a fullback.
Leak (6-foot-0, 215 pounds, Florida) completed 21 of 31 passes for 196 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception in a Week 1 road victory over the Kansas City Command, 52-28, but was benched in favor of Omar Jacobs in Week 2.
Leak then left the team after he learned of his demotion.
"It was an unfortunate situation in Jacksonville, but I've moved on," Leak told Lyon on Monday. "I'm just very excited about the opportunity to play at home. Orlando is my home, and being here with my family, this is a tremendous opportunity to play in front of the great fans that the Predators have."
Now that the transaction is finally official, Predators head coach Bret Munsey took a moment to express his excitement about Leak's arrival in Orlando.
"We think Chris is a great fit for the Predators," said Munsey through the team's website. "He certainly has the tools to be a great quarterback in the league."
After winning the BCS National Championship with the Florida Gators in 2007--a game in which he was named MVP--Leak spent the 2007 preseason with the Chicago Bears before heading to the Canadian Football League. He played in the CFL for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Montreal Alouettes, and the Saskatchewan RoughRiders from 2008 until 2011, when he was assigned to the Sharks. Leak was part of the Alouettes team that won the Grey Cup in 2009.
Leak will have the opportunity to face his old team when the two South Division rivals play against each other on May 25 and again on July 14. The first game will be broadcast on the NFL Network for NET10 Arena Football Friday.
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