Brandin Dandridge is coming off one of his best seasons as a professional football player, and his first CFL East All Star nomination. Since returning to the Redblacks late in 2022, Dandridge has scored four touchdowns; 1 punt return, 2 interception returns, and 1 scoop and score on a fumble. He also had 5 interceptions in his last 13 games for Ottawa. Ottawa will bring Dandridge back on a two year deal, locking up their best defender until just before his 29th birthday.
Long story short, Dandridge could have likely found suitors in free agency, and walked away from the team that has won a collective 14 games since originally signing him in 2019. At the very least his ability in the return game would have peaked interest from several teams. Especially after a 2023 season in which he put this skill on display as the primary return man to begin the season.
Granted Dandridge has only played for Ottawa during his career, and I’m positive that played a factor in his return, he was one player I was concerned would end up leaving via free agency. Looking at the list of pending free agents, and it’s a who’s who list of the best players on the roster over the last two seasons:
Premier Pending Free Agents:
RB Devonte Williams
RB Ante Milanovic-Litre
DE Lorenzo Mauldin IV
DB Abdul Kanneh
DB Monshadrik Hunter
DB Cariel Brooks
WR Justin Hardy
WR Shaq Evans
WR Bralon Addison
LB Gary Johnson Jr.
LB Douglas Coleman III
LB Adam Auclair
The secondary in particular could get picked apart, and perhaps that’s a good thing after what we witnessed last season from this unit. With nine defensive backs hitting free agency it was extremely important for the Redblacks to lock up their top player. Even with Dandridge back I expect this unit to look drastically different in 2024.
Ottawa could look to the XFL or USFL teams for talent at defensive back with the merger coming some names that could peak interest are Channing Stribling of the Stars who has spent time in the CFL, or Keylon Kennedy who was with the Vegas Vipers this season.
Congratulations to Brandin Dandridge and the Ottawa Redblacks on his new contract keeping a stalwart of the team in town.
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