This CFL off-season has felt extra long for the Ottawa Redblacks, and we are yet to reach CFL Free Agency. Having to go out and get a new coaching staff, make trades, and put together a few transactions this CFL off-season has been very busy for the Redblacks front office led by Marcel Desjardins.
Through the past few weeks, the team has been able to sign 26 new players, re-sign 6, release 10 players and trade for the rights of Quarterback Nick Arbuckle from Calgary. In the list of the 26 new guys coming to Ottawa are both Marcus Roberson and David Jones. The two players are NFL experienced defensive backs, and both of them are ready to come to camp and prove themselves. Roberson said in a message, “I’m excited to be a part of the squad!”
If they are excited, we should be too. The two defensive backs have had a great career up to this point and if given the chance they both can be play makers on this Redblacks defense.
Roberson’s road to Ottawa
In 2014, Marcus Roberson left the University of Florida one year early to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. As a Gator, Roberson made a name for himself playing a total of 30 games in the 3 seasons he spent there. In the 30 games, Roberson tallied up over 56 tackles, 20 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, one forced fumble, one sack and one fumble recovery. Unfortunatley for his future, he didn’t have enough around him to be selected in the 2014 NFL draft.
After going undrafted in 2014, Marcus Roberson was signed to a future reserved contract with the St Louis Rams. Roberson went on to play 25 games in St Louis being split into 2 seasons, and he made a lot of plays at the high level. In both 2014 and 2015, Marcus had 39 tackles, 7 pass deflections, one interception and one forced fumble.
Following a partially successful two seasons in St Louis, Roberson was cut by the Rams and later signed by the Buffalo Bills. Marcus’ stint in Buffalo wasn’t as long as the one in St Louis, although he was still able to play 7 games, recording 2 tackles and a pass deflection.
Roberson didn’t spend another season with the Bills after his 2016 season with the team, and after Buffalo Marcus Roberson found himself as a free agent other than a quick training camp with the Houston Texans.
After being cut by the Texans, he looked at other football options and found himself signing for the Toronto Argonauts. Roberson spent 11 games in Toronto for the 2018 CFL season, where he made 20 tackles alongside 2 interceptions. If given the chance in Ottawa this upcoming season, Roberson’s football career could be revived.
David Jones signs with Redblacks
To pair with Marcus Roberson’s contract signed with Ottawa is David Jones who signed with the team on the 21st of January. Before this contract came to Jones, he had a solid career going south of the border. Although he hadn’t played many games in the NFL he put together a good season on the New England Patriots practice squad in 2018 where he got his chance to experience a super bowl run with Brady and the bunch.
Ahead of his professional contracts he’s had the chance to write his name to, Jones had a historic career at the University of Richmond. At Richmond, David Jones was able to make a name for himself as a turnover machine. In the 4 seasons he played at Richmond, Jones was able to put on the uniform and play 41 games and every one of the games played, he made an impact.
In 41 games, Jones was able to total for 195 tackles, 14 interceptions, 20 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. These stats may not mean much, although with those stats he put himself in the NCAA record books. In the 14 interceptions he had, 9 came in the 2015 season where he led the FCS and he also tied the NCAA record with 4 interceptions in a single game.
As seen, Jones had no trouble putting up good stats and breaking records at the NCAA level, so if given the chance in Ottawa Jones can make a name for himself in Canada.