This off-season, the Redblacks lost a few big pieces to their roster which includes the 2018 starting quarterback, Trevor Harris.
After making it to the grey cup, it seemed as if we’d see a similar roster in 2019, but it was the opposite. On February 12th, 2019 CFL free agency officially opened, and the Ottawa Redblacks roster was ripped a part.
Although it seems February 12th was the day of big losses, when we lost Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson, William Powell, Sir Vincent Rogers and Rico Murray, but it all started on January 4th, when Redblacks receiver Diontae Spencer signed an NFL contract with the Steelers. By the end of free agency, the Redblacks practically lost their whole starting offense.
How are they doing?
Sure these former Redblacks were good in Ottawa, but how would their careers play out with another team?
Well, that question was answered after week two!
After week two, Trevor Harris had thrown for 6 touchdowns on 744 yards, while rushing for two touchdowns on 16 yards.
After two weeks of 300+ yard games, Harris was loved in Edmonton, and he loved Edmonton back!
Now we fast forward to week 12, Harris leads the league with 3,481 passing yards and has the fourth most rushing touchdowns at 6.
Harris doesn’t only have those stats to brag about, but he also has the least amount of interceptions thrown this season at 3, and he’s also beaten his former team the Ottawa Redblacks 16-12 in Edmonton.
In Saskatchewan, William Powell has the most rushing touchdowns in the CFL with 9, and 3 of which came against his former Ottawa Redblacks.
The former Redblacks running back who rushed for 1,000 yards in two straight seasons in Ottawa is on pace to do the same out west.
The Roughriders are on a 5th game winning streak, where William Powell has a touchdown in the past 3 games, 2 coming in a 40-18 win over Ottawa last week.
As I mentioned, Powell is on pace to break 1,000 yards once again this season, with 8 games played, Powell has rushed for 597 yards and 9 touchdowns while catching the ball 19 times for 124 yards. With those totals, he only needs 279 all purpose yards to break 1,000 yards, which is possible to do in next week’s labor day special against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
This off-season, Trevor Harris signed with the Edmonton Eskimos, and it would only be fitting if he brought his favorite target with him.
Bringing in Ellingson was a huge signing for Edmonton, as he already has caught 53 receptions for 710 yards in just 9 games played.
Along with the season stats, Edmonton really fell in love with Ellingson after a huge week two outing where he caught the ball 9 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Ellingson caught and ran for 1,000 yards in 4 straight seasons in Ottawa, and is on pace to do it a 5th time in different colors.
Diontae Spencer was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 4th, but has only gotten the opportunities in August.
In Pre-season football, Diontae Spencer has played 3 out of 3 games so far, tallying up 2 receptions for 17 yards, 2 carries for 48 yards, 1 kickoff return for 35 yards and 7 punt returns for 103 yards.
Although he is listed as a wide receiver, Spencer has played all kinds of roles with the Steelers this pre-season, and they sure love seeing him run a reverse. Just last week against the Tennessee Titans, he ran a reverse for 29 yards showing his explosiveness he had here in Ottawa.
Just before his first pre-season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I was able to talk to Dionate about his time here in Ottawa and what he has coming for his future, if you’d like to get to know Diontae before he becomes an NFL all-star checkout the link attached to this paragraph.