Current Ottawa Redblacks General Manager once again taps his Hamilton Tiger-Cats roots. Just days ago Hamilton chose to release wide receiver/running back Bralon Addison. As soon as he was let go speculation quickly turned to the Redblacks who had gone back to former Ti-Cats players on several occasions. This occasion will be no different as Bralon Addison has signed with Ottawa.
Reunited and it Feels Soooo Good
Bralon Addison reunites with Jeremiah Masoli as his quarterback. These men played together with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2018 to 2021 when Masoli left to sign with Ottawa. Addison has never played for another CFL team in his career but when healthy he has proven he stands among the best weapons on any CFL roster.
His best season came in 2019 with Masoli as his QB1 for the first 3 weeks of the season, and overall 4 games on the year. When Addison torched the Toronto Argonauts in week 2, it was Masoli pulling the trigger. He was targeted 7 times on the game, catching 6 passes for 107 yards and all 3 passing touchdowns on the day. The following week Masoli looked his way 11 times, and Addison caught 8 passes for 121 yards. It’s clear these two men have chemistry to build on.
More importantly for Ottawa, Addison could see carries in the run game as well. The Redblacks lacked explosive plays in the run game last season, and Addison has a career average of 5.6 yards per carry on 53 touches. Adding this element to the offense, and his presence opposite or next to Jaelin Acklin will make this offense dangerous. The big question mark with Addison is obvious.
Can he Stay Healthy?
During the 2021 season Addison missed the first portion of the season due to a previous knee injury. He returned to the roster in late September but by October he was again placed on the injured list. This time set to miss 6 games due to a hamstring issue.
Playing in just 3 regular season games, Addison managed 18 receptions, on 23 targets. He collected 231 yards. During this stretch Masoli again was his quarterback all three games. It wasn’t until 2022 that Addison really played a full season without the elder statesmen throwing him passes at any point.
During the 2022 season Addison again would suffer a major injury. This time it was a torn Achilles Tendon. This would shut him down for the year, and ultimately be a big reason that led to his release by the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton had decided to move on without the injury prone, but electric wideout despite an impressive start to the 2022 season.
After 8 games Addison had 43 receptions for 433 yards, 12 carries for 67 yards, and 3 punt returns for 32 yards. Producing 532 yards from scrimmage in 8 games. At just 29 years old this is a safe bet on a veteran receiver that knows his new starting quarterback well. He won’t be expected to be the top target for Ottawa, so if he isn’t the same Bralon Addison we know and love to watch right away, the Ottawa offense can lean on other playmakers in the meantime.
Redblacks Building an Offensive Foundation
Released by the Tiger Cats for financial reasons, his new deal with Ottawa is for just one season, but could turn into a much longer arrangement if he can stay healthy when he is able to return from his Achilles injury. I will be curious to see if he is ready to go when the season begins. With surgery in August of 2022, it has been just over 8 months of recovery for Addison, and the normal timetable is 9-12 months. The Redblacks kick off their season in less than a month against the Montreal Alouettes on June 10th. They face the Tiger-Cats July 8th, which would be 11 months since his injury, wouldn’t that be a fitting date for return.
The Redblacks are hitching their offense to the wagon of two players that missed the majority of the 2023 season, and the injury concern will be huge for both players. However both players when healthy are arguably top 5 at their position, and Championship worthy starters. The Redblacks are hoping they get the healthy versions of both players in 2023.
The Redblacks also extended the contracts of wideout Jaelon Acklin and CFL All Star offensive lineman Jacob Ruby who joined the team prior to the 2022 season. They also have released Davon Coleman who had previously been re-signed prior to the draft where the Redblacks selected Blessman Ta’ala in the first round of the Global Draft. They have solidified a few positions heading into the future, and look to keep their core offensive players together through the 2024 season.
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