The Massachusetts Pirates have re-signed defensive back Khalid Wooten for the 2020 season. This will mark Wooten’s third season with the Pirates.
After a brief stint in the Arena Football League with Atlantic City in 2019, Wooten returned to the Pirates, who were just 1-4 at the time. Upon Wooten’s arrival, the team went on a six-game winning streak. Pirates’ President and General Manager Jawad Yatim knows that was not just a coincidence.
"Khalid played a prominent role in our secondary last season,” Yatim said. “We needed his veteran presence in an otherwise young defensive backfield. He's been a consistently productive player for us, and he is a great person on top of that. We’re certainly glad to have Woot back on board," Yatim added.
This past season Wooten appeared in nine regular season games with Massachusetts and had 30 solo tackles and assisted on three more for a total of 31.5. He also had two interceptions and .5 tackles for a loss. He posted had three stops in the Pirates 30-26 playoff loss in Carolina.
Wooten can’t wait to get back to helping the Pirates in the secondary.
“This is going to be my first full year with the team, and I feel like with have a very good team this year,” he said. “We had a chance to go to the championship twice and with be being a “vet” now and playing for the full season, we might be able to do something on the back end,” Wooten added.
The former sixth round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans played in four regular season games with the Pirates in 2018 and in the team’s playoff loss to Columbus. Wooten tallied 12 tackles with one pass broken up and a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown vs. Lehigh Valley.
Wooten takes his leadership role seriously.
“I’m getting older in my career now and I’ve got to watch over the younger players. When I first came in, I had people teaching me. I looked up to the older vets learning the way to play the game, so now being in my third year with the Pirates I look forward to that role. First and foremost, my play is going to say it all. I would rather have the young players watch my play on the field than hearing me say it,” he said.
Another reason Wooten is returning to the Pirates is because he likes the culture of the organization both on and off the field.
“I like the guys, the staff, and members the media. You make it fun it’s not like work to me. It’s more fun than anything. Like I tell everybody, we’re big kids playing a kid’s game. They guys that he (Mr. Yatim) brings in, my teammates, are a fun group of guys to be around. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong. During the season we’re going to have our ups and downs as we grow together as family but if we stick together and keep winning, things will take care of themselves.”
Of course, Wooten’s goal for the team is to win a championship but he also has set aside some personal goals for 2020.
“I’ve got to make an All-NAL tea,” he said. “I feel like I’m one of the top DB’s in the NAL in my opinion. From what I’ve been producing the past two years I think the numbers speak for themselves. In my opinion, I’ll be one of the best DB’s coming back this year,” he said with confidence.
Wooten, (5’-11” 200 lbs.) played his college ball at the University of Nevada and was drafted by Tennessee (202 overall) in the 2013 National Football League draft. The San Bernardino, CA native was with the Titans for parts of three seasons seeing action in three games in 2014. In 2016 he played with Montreal in the Canadian Football League. Wooten also played six games with Hamilton in 2017 and later was signed by the Toronto Argonauts.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.