- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dallas Cowboys receiver Troy Bergeron and Cleveland Browns receiver Rod Windsor are going back to the Arena Football League during the NFL lockout.

Unable to work out at their NFL team’s facilities, Bergeron this week signed with the AFL’s Cleveland Gladiators and Windsor joined the Arizona Rattlers. Both are former AFL rookie of the year award winners.

Players were permitted to sign with another league after the NFL lockout began last weekend. Bergeron and Windsor are still under contract with their respective NFL teams, who still own their NFL rights.

“We assumed there would be players that would join the AFL. We are not sure how big the influx will be,” AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. “We are confident that the NFL issues will be resolved and they will play this season. We work well in conjunction with the NFL and they have supported us and our players greatly.”

With the Rattlers last season, Windsor was the league’s rookie of the year after 193 catches for 2,372 yards and 47 touchdowns. Bergeron played for the AFL’s Georgia Force in 2005, 2007 and 2008. He was the league’s rookie of the league in 2005.

The 18-team AFL kicked off its 24th season last weekend. The season ends Aug. 12 with the ArenaBowl.