Final Roster Has Been Set
The Ottawa Redblacks went nuts this offseason. They were very unhappy with their 3-11 season in 2021, and knew that dramatic change was necessary to turn things around. They hit free agency with such aggressiveness they were able to sign some of the best available free agents at positions of need. Their secondary saw a few new faces added this offseason, and it was a foregone conclusion that there would be odd men out.
Shocking Move Before Week 1
Every year there are moves made that turn heads, and make fans question the front office. This year was no different. Trumaine Washington has developed a reputation as a ball hawk with a penchant for creating interceptions. He was at his best last season in 2021 when he picked off five passes, forced a fumble, and scored a touchdown.
The 5’9 185 pound defensive back primarily plays halfback, or slot defender as we know it in the NFL game. He has shown that he can cover with the best of them, and has produced on a yearly basis since joining the CFL in 2018. After two years in Toronto where he was able to play in 25 games total, and rack up 56 tackles, 5 interceptions, 1 interception, forced 1 fumble, and scored a touchdown. You will see some similarities between what he did in the 2018-2019 seasons combined with Toronto and what he was able to do in Edmonton as a starter.
2018-2019: 56 tackles, 5 interceptions, 1 force fumble, 1 touchdown
2021:55 tackles, 5 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 touchdown
Gone Before He Ever Arrived
Ironically enough despite his ten interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 touchdowns in just three seasons, Ottawa has decided to go in a different direction. It is slightly surprising to see arguably the most prominent defensive back signed this offseason let go without ever playing a regular season game in Ottawa.
Washington was supposed to lead the way in the secondary, now in 2022 the Redblacks are forced to rely on younger players, and hold overs from last season to fill the halfback role that Washington will be vacating following his untimely release. With Ottawa choosing to keep only 10 defensive backs on the active roster, with 1 currently injured, we could see the practice squad guys being utilized sooner rather than later.
The defensive backfield will be interesting to watch with the relative lack of depth, as well as the injury that has already affected their Week 1-6 numbers in the secondary. With four men on the practice squad, including 2022 Global Draft Pick Edris Jean-Alphonse they have plenty of depth to tap if the time comes.
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