SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Blaze announced Tuesday afternoon that they finalized two separate trades involving Spokane and San Jose to acquire three players.
In the deals, the Blaze sent lineman Raymond McNeil and quarterback Erik Meyer to the Shock in return for linemen Khreem Smith and Antonio Narcisse. Then the Blaze dealt defensive back Rod Mosley to San Jose for safety Chris Royal.
"It's always difficult to (trade) players that have been with you for the majority of the season," said Blaze coach Ron James, "but at 5-5 we decided that it was in our best interest to see if we could make a final push and get some of the key ingredients to be able to challenge late in the season."
Smith, who was named to last year's AFL first-team, finished with nine sacks. Thus far he's already tallied seven, which ranks third in the league.
"Smith is one of the AFL's best pass rushers," stated James. "We decided that push on the defensive side was vital for our success down the stretch."
Narcisse is expected to boost the performance of the offensive line after helping guide the Shock to Arena Bowl championship while starting 10 games at center.
"Antonio is regarded as one of the top two or three centers in the game right now," said James.
Utah was able to garnish two proven starters in return for a backup and starter because of Spokane's desperate need for a quarterback after losing its top two signal callers to injuries.
Royal comes to Utah with an impressive background to replace Mosley, who notoriously struggled in the secondary.
In his first season with the Kansas City Command he snagged 11 interceptions, which ranked second in the AFL while racking up 69 tackles.
All three players are expected to step into starting roles Saturday against division leading Arizona at EnergySolutions Arena.