The Columbus Lions made another big splash in free agency as they add wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw. Outlaw is a veteran of indoor football playing with the Philadelphia Soul of the AFL for years while also making stops with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. The Miles College standout will join a budding passing threat for the Lions.
Outlaw spent five years in the AFL. In those years, he would haul in 70 receptions for 856 yards and 21 touchdowns. But it was his 2019 season where the potential showed. After having on and off seasons with rare appearances from 2016-2018, Outlaw brought in 45 receptions for 531 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Soul in 2019. His most amazing game came in week 3 vs the Albany Empire where Outlaw caught nine passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
Outlaw joins a Lions team that wasn’t afraid to air it out last season. The Lions ranked 2nd in the league in passing offense (222.1 YPG) and passing touchdowns (69). Now the new wide receiver will join up with a new look Lions offense. The Lions, this offseason, have added a couple new quarterbacks to their team. They added another versatile quarterback to their arsenal with dual threat Darren Daniel joining the team. The Phenix City, Alabama native, who made college stops at Stanford and Alabama State, played with the Columbus Lions back in 2017. Daniel was part of the 10-4 Lions team that feel just short against the Jacksonville Sharks 27-21 in the Championship Game. Daniel completed 60% of his passes for 1,611 yards and 38 touchdowns while adding on six rushing touchdowns.
The Lions also signed quarterback Mason Espinosa. Espinosa spent the last year with the Albany Empire of the now defunct Arena Football League. In eight games, Espinosa complete 12 of 13 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns. His 2018 season with the Lions showed why Espinosa became one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league. He once again led the league in passing efficiency (107.7) and completion percentage (64.3) but also was 2nd in the league in passing yards per game (223.7), least interceptions thrown (7) and 3rd in the league in passing touchdowns (66). The solid framework laid out in an MVP 2018 season led the Lions back to the NAL Championship where they would fall to Carolina.
The Columbus Lions open the season Friday, April 17th at home against the defending NAL Champions the Jacksonville Sharks.