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Not Yet Satisfied, Redblacks Continue to Add to Secondary and Defensive Line, Release Six

With the regular season quickly approaching, the Redblacks have continued to make moves in the secondary attempting to find the championship combination. In the process of adding two new players, the Redblacks have released five players, including Michael Domagala whose off-season could be compared to the life of a yo-yo having now been released for a third time this off-season. 

Another XFL 2023 Player Makes the Trip North 

The UFL merger created a scenario where eight teams worth of quality players were left without jobs. We have already watched countless of these players signed merger created a scenario where eight teams worth of quality players were left without jobs. We have already watched countless of these players sign CFL, ELF, LFA, AFL, and IFL contracts but of all these leagues the CFL absorbed the majority of these players. 

Gerald Willis III was a member of the Redblacks earlier this offseason. He was released in early May and brought back officially on Monday. Despite being projected to be a mid-round pick, Willis began his professional career as an undrafted free agent spending time with the Ravens and Dolphins as a rookie. 

He appeared in two games with Miami logging two tackles. In 2020 the Dolphins released Willis just before the draft. Three days later he was acquired by Green Bay. He lasted until late July before being let go. After that he more or less fell off the NFL map, his only workout coming over a year later. 

After this tryout he was not signed and ultimately would not play again until 2023. He would be selected by the Orlando Guardians in the initial XFL Draft. The 6’2 300 pound who attended Florida, and Miami for college, and saw his first NFL action with Miami, would get his first opportunity to start a professional football game for the Orlando Guardians. He went on to play in all ten games, starting four. 

During this time he was able to collect 24 tackles and 2 sacks for a loss of 8 yards. Unfortunately the UFL Merger left Orlando out of the new league. The way the draft was structured meant the players on these teams going away had less of a chance to end up in the new league, Willis was one of those that didn’t get a chance to continue with the UFL. 

He would initially sign with Ottawa in April before being let go about three weeks later. With Ottawa opting to release Jamere Edwards, and Jermaine McDaniel thru have chosen to bring back Willis. I believe this was an effort to bulk up on the defensive line to ensure they can stand up against the run. Edwards is 275 pounds, and McDaniel is 245 pounds. While both of those players offered some positional versatility, it appears that are looking for a true defensive tackle. Ironically both players signed are New Orleans natives. 

Tywan Francis 

Francis finished his career with Temple, as a graduate student but began at Colorado State University. Attending CSU from 2018 to 2022 he used his extra year of eligibility to stick with CSU an extra season. In 2022 he would start 4 games before deciding to transfer and redshirt the rest of 2022. 

This decision led him to Temple with 176 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 10 pass break ups, and 1 kick return for 23 yards. The 5’11 195 pound safety had proven his worth but wanted to finish his career on a high note. Transferring to Temple allowed him to do just that. He would finish his career with 78 tackles. He set career highs with 2 interceptions, and 5 pass break ups. 

He would declare for the 2024 NFL Draft and participate in Temple’s pro day. He was unfortunately not invited to the combine. At his pro day he did some good things, but some of his numbers didn’t do him justice. This began with the 40-yard dash when he ran a 4.67, however his 10-yard split was a 1.54 10-yard split this is a quick first step but didn’t translate to a great time, something tells me given another chance to run this he would put up a better number. His 30.5 inch vertical was just okay, his 7.14 3-cone wasn’t incredibly impressive, and his 4.36 was solid but not spectacular. 

Both of these players were productive in previous stops, now they’re looking to try and latch on with Ottawa in hopes of leading this team back to prominence. 


In another move just a day later the Redblacks have released offensive lineman Phillip Norman. Norman has been released once this offseason so this may not be the last we see of him in Ottawa.

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Sam Just Reporter
I am a writer and content creator focusing on alternative football leagues like the UFL, CFL, AFL, IFL, NAL, and AIF. If you like alternative football leagues, check out my personal platform Shady Sports Network on YouTube and all your favorite social media platforms.
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