After bringing in both Chris Jones and Geroy Simon to lead their front office, it was announced that the CFL’s Edmonton Elks released twelve players to kickoff their off-season. On the list of now free agents was defensive back Jonathan Rose. Rose is coming off of a season in 2021 which he played in 13 of the Edmonton Elks’ 14 games, making a total 27 tackles and breaking up a few passes. With younger players like Trumaine Washington, Darius Williams and Nafees Lyon stepping up in the defensive backfield and veterans Jonathan Mincy Sr and Aaron Grymes with the Elks still, releasing Rose will open up opportunities for a younger corner in Edmonton, but will also open up an opportunity in the nation’s capital.
Jonathan Rose, who is now 28 years old entered the CFL with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2016 where he made a name for himself right off the bat. As a rookie, Rose won the Grey Cup with the Ottawa Redblacks, was named the Redblacks’ rookie of the year and a CFL eastern all-star, having made 59 tackles, a sack, an interception and forced a fumble. He then proceeded to make a large impact as the Redblacks number one defensive back over the next 37 games, making 107 tackles, 8 interceptions, forcing 5 fumbles and scoring two touchdowns prior to suffering a serious neck injury which sidelined him for 15 of the 18 games in 2019. The injury would have kept him out for the beginning of the 2020 CFL season as well if there would have been one, and with that into consideration, as well as the young talent the Ottawa Redblacks had going into the 2021 CFL season, they decided to part ways with him.
Looking at it now, though, there isn’t any major reason why the Redblacks should not bring him back to the nation’s capital.
What took him out of Ottawa in the first place was his injury, which he has since recovered from and played 13 games to prove that. He made a name for himself in the city of Ottawa, he made plays here already, and helped bring the Redblacks defence to two Grey Cups in 2016 and 2018. I don’t see why Shawn Burke and his crew wouldn’t want to see him help make that happen a third time.
Under contract for the Redblacks in 2022 are defensive backs Sherrod Baltimore, Brandin Dandridge, Justin Howell, Ranthony Texada and Treshaun Abrahams-Webster. The only two solidified starters for 2022 would be Baltimore and Dandridge. Outside of those two, Howell, Texada and Abrahams-Webster will likely be battling for a spot in the starting lineup during training camp, and it is expected that the Redblacks either bring back or bring in other starters for the defensive backfield. Among those they can bring back would be Antoine Pruneau, Abdul Kanneh, Randall Evans, Gump Hayes, Brad Muhammad, and Don Unamba.
Coming off of a 3-11 season in 2021, the Redblacks will look to make a splash in the off-season, ensuring that they are better in 2022. Doing so, bringing back both Abdul Kanneh and Randall Evans who made large impacts for the team when healthy in 2021, and signing Jonathan Rose, as well as a young defensive back with experience in the CFL already can make a huge impact for the Redblacks, especially if the front-seven improves as well.
With Rose being released prior to free agency, he is eligible to sign with any team anytime. Will it be the Ottawa Redblacks that sign him?