SALT LAKE CITY - October 3, 2006. The Utah Blaze announce it's first major free-agent signing for 2007 with Offensive/Defensive Lineman STEVE KONOPKA (6-4, 286, Central Connecticut) agreeing to a two-year contract today. Konopka, who will be entering his eighth AFL season, spent the last four seasons with the Las Vegas Gladiators where he played under current Blaze Line coach RON JAMES. Terms of the contract were not disclosed due to team policy.
"Steve is one of the top linemen in the game and definitely the best out on the free agent market," said Blaze head coach and general manager DANNY WHITE. "He has a motor that doesn't stop and will give us a tremendous boost up front. We are excited to have him playing on our side instead of lining up against us."
Fans might remember Konopka blocked STEVE VIDETICH's 34-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining in the 49-47 loss to the Gladiators at the Delta Center on May 24. Konopka, who is climbing the AFL's all-time sack leader chart, led the Gladiators with 3.5 sacks, while forcing two fumbles and recording 14.0 total tackles in 2007.
The Utah Blaze were winners of the 2006 Commissioner's Award, given to the Arena Football League's Organization of the Year, and the Best Support Staff Award. The Blaze led the AFL in attendance and qualified for the postseason in just their first season.
Season tickets for the 2007 are now available by logging onto www.utahblaze.com or by calling the Blaze ticket office at (801) 257-3111.