The Rattlers traded reserve fullback Johnnie Kirton to the San Jose SaberCats for the rights to receiver/jack linebacker Jason Geathers.
Geathers became quarterback Nick Davila's go-to receiver late in the season and in the playoffs last year after Rod Windsor left for the NFL Cleveland Browns.
Geathers signed in the off-season with the SaberCats, with whom he was part of an ArenaBowl championship in 2008, before the league took a year off because of financial troubles.
But Geathers never reported this season with the SaberCats. He has been living in Florida. He played at the University of Miami.
Rattlers coach and general manager Kevin Guy said he anticipates Geathers joining the team next week when they travel to play the 6-2 Utah Blaze.
The Rattlers (5-3) play the Chicago Rush (6-2) on Saturday night at US Airways Center.
"We're going to get him going," Guy said. "He brings a physical presence to our team, versatility. Those are the two things we get out of him. He is a great special teams player."
Guy will see what kind of shape Geathers is in when he gets back.
Guy said he is satisfied with the receivers he has now. Maurice Purify (69 catches, 1,083 yards, 26 TDs), Kerry Reed and Glen Fox have been the Rattlers' most dependable receivers. Trandon Harvey is close to returning after suffering an arm injury a month ago.
Markee White is a big target at 6-foot-7, who is slowly getting acclimated after joining the team three weeks ago.
"We're just trying to get better as a football team," Guy said.
San Jose fills a need at fullback with its starter going on injured reserve.
The Rattlers get a player who last season caught 93 passes for 1,065 yards and 28 TDs, and ran 12 times for 42 yards and a score. Geathers also was used on occasion at linebacker, where he had 12 tackles and an interception.