On March 31st the PLL’s newest team, Cannons LC, announced they had grabbed former Penn State lacrosse player and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Hogan from the waiver wire.
Hogan was passed over in the PLL Entry Draft on March 25th after declaring his intent to play in the league in February. With the MLL’s absorption by the PLL, there were a lot of talented players available to draft and only 24 spots, so it left a lot of good players, including Hogan, free to sign for the best offers.
So after much speculation of who would claim him off the waiver wire, the Cannons announced that Hogan had been acquired along with former MLL MVP Bryce Wasserman and seven other players. Hogan’s waiver wire transaction for the Cannons brings another big name to a roster that already flaunts star power in Paul Rabil (acquired in a trade with Atlas LC) and Lyle Thompson (drafted first in the Entry Draft).
When the announcement came that Hogan had signed with the PLL, some critics called his signing a marketing stunt as he hasn’t played high-level lacrosse in over 10 years. The critics are correct that he hasn’t played lacrosse in a while, but Hogan has been playing in the NFL for almost a decade with some of the best athletes in the world, and he’s been training for lacrosse for months. In the NFL, Hogan was known for being quick, agile and strong, which are three skills that translate well in the sport of lacrosse, especially in the midfield.
Before switching to football in 2010, Hogan played three years of lacrosse at Penn State from 2007-2009, playing 30 games and earning a First Team ALL-ECAC selection in 2009. In high school, Hogan was a 2006 Under Armour High School All-American and the 2006 New Jersey Midfielder of the Year. He was also first-team all-league, all-county, and All-New Jersey in his junior and senior years of high school. When it comes to lacrosse credentials, Hogan definitely has them. There’s no reason why he can’t excel again as a middie and make an immediate impact for the Cannons.
Marketing stunt or not, this move is a slam dunk for the Cannons, PLL, and lacrosse in general in terms of buzz and promotion. When Hogan signed, there was a lot of media focus on his transition from football to lacrosse. Whenever a prominent athlete switches sports, there’s a natural interest in their story (see: Tim Tebow from football to baseball or Michael Jordan from basketball to baseball). There will be a lot more interest and attention on the PLL from the casual sports fan who has never really watched lacrosse but knows Hogan from his time in the NFL. There’s no doubt that Hogan jerseys will be one of the top sellers in the league along with Rabil, Rambo and Thompson.
The Cannons were the only team absorbed by the PLL after the merger with the MLL, and they have a lot of history in Boston as the Cannons dating back to their inaugural season in 2001. Hogan is most famous in the NFL for his three seasons playing with the New England Patriots, where he won two Super Bowl rings. Boston sports fans will now have an extra motivation to support the PLL’s newest team if Paul Rabil and Lyle Thompson’s additions weren’t enough.