What does the retirement of receiver Brad Sinopoli mean for the Ottawa Redblacks offence going into the 2021 CFL season?

As of right now there are zero receivers on the Ottawa Redblacks roster that have reached the 1,000 yard marker in the CFL. Yesterday there was one, Brad Sinopoli who has reached the marker four times as a Redblacks receiver but Sinopoli announced today that he retired from the CFL. The 33 year old receiver played 5 seasons in Ottawa following 4 years as a Stampeders quarterback and receiver. Sinopoli has a legacy in Ottawa from his time with the Redblacks but also his historic collegiate career as a Gee Gee making this loss a tough one for Redblacks fans and even the team, losing a key player like that will be hard to rebound from.

With Sinopoli out of the picture, there are no more players on the Redblacks’ roster that have reached the 1,000 yard marker and in 2019 the receivers on the roster who played in the CFL have a combined just 1,639 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those receivers include Canadians Michael Klukas, Anthony Coombs, Nate Behar, Wesley Lewis, Marco Dubois and Daniel Petermann who will likely battle for Sinopoli’s number one Canadian spot at receiver. There are also American receivers RJ Harris, Jerminic Smith, DeVonte Dedmon, Shannon Smith, Jaelan Austin and Rafael Araujo Lopes returning to Ottawa alongside newcomers Ryan Davis, Kendrick Rogers, Amba Etta-Tawo, Jevon Durante, Joe Walker, Ervin Phillips, Cortrelle Simpson, Jordan Smallwood, Marvelle Ross and Terry Williams. The Redblacks have global receivers Guillermo Villalobos and Anthony Mahoungou too. The group of receivers has a lot of potential, however without a proven 1,000 yard receiver in sight the receiving core has to prove themselves in 2021.

R.J Harris is expected to be featured as the number one receiver and there is no doubting what he can do in that position. Players like Jerminic Smith, DeVonte Dedmon, Wesley Lewis and Rafael Araujo-Lopes who are coming in for their second season as a Redblacks receiver each have the opportunity to breakout and have a big season, as do Canadian receivers Michael Klukas, Anthony Coombs, Nate Behar and Daniel Petermann with the new opportunity they have in Ottawa. Also a few players expected to make plays for Ottawa in 2021 would be one or two of the new receivers brought in this off-season as free agents. Ryan Davis, a former Auburn receiver has the potential to become a Nic Demski or Lucky Whitehead for Paul LaPolice in his Ottawa offence while Kendrick Rogers, Jordan Smallwood, Jevon Durante and Amba Etta Tawo have the skill sets to be a similar player to a Darvin Adams or Kenny Lawler that he had in Winnipeg.

The group coming into Ottawa for training camp can get the job done, each of then receivers coming in have the skill set to be a top tier receiver in the Redblacks’ offence this year, they just need to prove it to the outsiders. With Sinopoli gone people may look at Ottawa and say that they need a receiver but they have enough receivers, 10 of their receivers played in 2019, while over 10 more receivers found on their roster are new to the Redblacks and the CFL and nobody has seen these players at their highest potential therefore nobody should be doubting them.

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