This off-season, the Ottawa Redblacks have improved heavily. Newly hired general manager Shawn Burke has made a great first impression in the nation’s capital, and has done so by not only signing a new franchise quarterback, but an entire team around him as well. Some of the areas where he has brought in a lot of talent thus far this off-season have come at both wide receiver and defensive back.
Giving Jeremiah Masoli some weapons, Burke has re-signed and will be bringing back 2021 Redblacks receivers R.J Harris, Ryan Davis, Nate Behar and Jordan Smallwood but has also added Darvin Adams, Jaelon Acklin, Shaquille Johnson, B.J Cunningham and Llevi Noel from free agency. The Redblacks top 7 receivers; Darvin Adams, Ryan Davis, Jaelon Acklin, R.J Harris, B.J Cunningham, Nate Behar and Shaquille Johnson all combined for 305 catches, 3,815 yards and 13 touchdowns in their 2021 seasons. Bringing all of that together into one room can be a great move by the Ottawa Redblacks. It gives a solidified number one receiver in Darvin Adams, and a big competition between the rest to figure out who plays which role on the offence. Ryan Davis is a true NFL talent and the Ottawa Redblacks are lucky to have him back in 2022. He may just be the number two receiver, and develop into being a primary target for Masoli while Jaelon Acklin, B.J Cunningham and R.J Harris all play major roles in the receiving core as well as Canadians Shaquille Johnson and Nate Behar.
The great group of receivers for the Ottawa Redblacks coming in for the 2022 CFL season will also be going head to head with some extremely talented defensive backs at practice. Among the positions improved this off-season, Shawn Burke and the Redblacks front office went out and signed a good group of help in the defensive backfield. Coming back from 2021 is Sherrod Baltimore, Abdul Kanneh, Randall Evans, Justin Howell, Antoine Pruneau, Jordan Beaulieu, Ranthony Texada and Treshaun Abrahams Webster and coming in for the 2022 CFL season will be newly acquired defensive back Trumaine Washington who led the CFL in interceptions in 2021 with the Edmonton Elks, Money Hunter and Patrick Levels.
These additions at receiver and defensive back not only make up of some great one on one battles in Ottawa but also some great training camp battles to make the team. If you know anything about the CFL, you would know that no job is guaranteed. With all of these veteran signings, and the mix of young talent in Ottawa, it can be interesting to see what the Ottawa Redblacks final roster looks like in 2022. If that competitive mindset and environment stays throughout the season, it should bring the best out of each and every player on the team, making the Redblacks a true contender for the Grey Cup in Saskatchewan.