FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons went long-distance shopping when adding a wide receiver on Thursday.
The Falcons signed Noriaki Kinoshita (pronounced Nor-ee-ah-key Key-no-she-tah), a native of Osaka, Japan who played the last three years with the Amsterdam Admirals of N-F-L Europa.
The 5-foot-10, 179-pound Kinoshita ranked second in N-F-L Europe with 909 combined net yards this season. He was fourth in the league in kickoff returns with 532 yards and added 21 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2006, Kinoshita led the league in kickoff returns with 19 records for 530 yards, an average of just under 28 yards per return.
Kinoshita is the second player from Japan to sign with the Falcons. The first, tight end Nachi Abe, lasted only ten days in the preseason in 2000.