Local News

Cobras Sign Free Agent WR/LB Cory Fleming

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

RALEIGH, N.C. — It did not take long for Carolina Cobras head coach Mike Neu to make headlines in the Arena Football League. The Cobras signed Arena Football League all-star free agent wide receiver/linebacker Cory Fleming to a three-year contract on Monday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fleming, who played the past five seasons in the AFL with the NashvilleKats, becomes the first major unrestricted free agent to sign a contractwith another AFL team since the free agent signing period began on November5.

"We're excited to get a player like Cory Fleming because we know what hebrings to the table on both sides of the ball." Neu said. "He makes playson the field and from a leadership standpoint he has the ability to bringout the best in everyone."

A two-time First Team All-Arena selection (1997-98) and 1997 AFL Rookie ofthe Year player, Fleming comes to the Cobras as Nashville's all-time leadingreceiver and ranks 9th all-time in the AFL in receiving touchdowns (116) and10th in total scoring (744 points).

He also ranks in the league's top-15 incareer receptions (406) and receiving yards (4,919). Fleming had arguablythe best three seasons of any receiver in AFL history from 1997-99, reachingthe 300-catch mark quicker than any other player.

"He's [Fleming] a playmaker," Neu continued. "When the game is one the lineyou can look to him in the huddle because he wants the ball."

Fleming's size (6-2, 218, Tennessee), quickness and good hands make him ahuge offensive threat, but he also brings a defensive presence to the50-yard indoor field.

Playing both wide receiver and linebacker, Flemingwas selected to the AFL's 1999 All-Ironman squad after finishing in theleague's top 10 in seven statistical categories. He suffered a brokenankle during the preseason last year, but returned (21 catches for 272 yardsand four TDs in five games) to help the Kats to their second straight ArenaBowl appearance in 2001.

A former standout wide receiver at the University of Tennessee, he wasselected in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL draft by the San Francisco49ers and later signed with the Dallas Cowboys, where he saw action in fourgames that season. He played the 1995 season with the Cowboys and earned aSuper Bowl ring when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX.

Fleming was a teammate with Neu during the Nashville Kats' inaugural seasonin 1997. Neu later worked with Fleming as the Kats' quarterbacks coach(1998) and offensive coordinator (1999).

The Cobras begin their third season in the AFL in March 2002.