The Springfield, New Jersey native had an incredible opportunity to play for the illustrious NFL team, the New York Jets a little while back, and not everyone who plays College ball or even for the CFL, gets that chance, but Anthony Cioffi was bestowed that incredible opportunity and he jumped at the chance the minute his run with the Ottawa Redblacks was over with.
On his exit from the CFL, he stated:
“…We spoke in the exit meeting, I didn’t get good feedback from (the Redblacks)…It’s how the business works. ‘Thank you for your time; I appreciate what you did for me.’ At the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for me. We had a great thing going my rookie year, then the next season a lot of things went down…”via The Ottawa Sun
He had already technically been in the NFL at the start of his pro career in 2017, having been signed as an undrafted free agent, but that run didn’t last all that long and he was signed by the Redblacks subsequently in 2018, whom he played for until 2020 when the opportunity to play for The Jets came up.
It was on February 13th of 2020 that The Jets signed him on for a two-year deal, yet he was waived as early as August. What adds to the confusion of the chain of events and his time with The Jets, is that he was re-signed a week later, only to again be waived on August 25th!
Yes, confusing, but not uncommon in the NFL; especially during a pandemic and world health crisis. Of this experience he has said:
“I feel great…(The Jets Opportunity) was a great opportunity to get in front of different eyes, to be able to do what you do best. It was definitely a blessing. My parents dreamed about this when I was little. Ottawa helped get me the opportunity. I’m back in the CFL and it definitely feels like I’m at home in the league…You just take it all in – the highs and lows…Any time you get released, you want to reflect and see what you could have done better. Sometimes things work out; sometimes things go in a different direction. With every experience you have in life, it’s not always going to be great. You have to be prepared to bounce back. When stuff happens, you have to react and adjust…”via The Ottawa Sun
But as has been reported by the Ottawa Sun, Cioffi is back in the CFL and this time, he’s playing for the BC Lions. This is old news, quite obviously, as he was signed in January of this year, but his take on the whole thing and his thoughts on returning to the CFL are very interesting. On this topic, especially during a pandemic, he said:
“…Even in the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to adjust…If I can’t go to a gym, I have to figure it out…My football IQ continues to grow, watching the film and speaking to the coaches, especially (former CFL star) R.P. (Ryan Phillips)…I’m trying to learn multiple positions, if you know the overall scheme, it’s easy – it’s like putting together pieces of a puzzle. There are always things you can improve at…”via The Ottawa Sun
He has stated that it was very interesting to return to Ottawa, this time against a team that he had played with, in a game that ended up going 24-12 in favor of The Lions, his new team. On this, he said:
“You think about all the time you spent there, every day at practice. Once you get back on the turf, you feel very comfortable. Being back out there on the field, it felt calming … like I’d been there before…”via The Ottawa Sun
The now 27-year old Rutgers University Alum had an impressive stat record with Ottawa (13 special teams stops, 97 defensive tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 sacks, a defensive touchdown), and so far with the Lions he has 11 defensive tackles. The Lions are set to face the Redblacks once again today, as of this writing.