On day one of this year’s CFL free agency, the Ottawa Redblacks front office led by general manager Marcel Desjardins took a different path than a year ago when the team lost key players like Trevor Harris, William Powell and Rico Murray. Although the Redblacks had a down year in 2019, it doesn’t mean the CFL is counting them out for 2020. Following the end of the past CFL season, the team has been able to make serious transactions on the coaching staff and roster. The Ottawa Redblacks roster was given positive additions in Cleyon Laing, Don Unamba, Christophe Mulamba, Abdul Kanneh and Anthony Coombs in day one of 2020 CFL free agency, but the big signings shouldn’t distract fans from the smaller ones too.
Even though the team hadn’t put much noise around the signings, the Ottawa Redblacks just recently on February 18th brought in a list of 10 players who will be able to play for the team this coming season.
After making quite the splash on day one of CFL free agency, the team stayed quiet other than re-signing defensive lineman Ettore Lattanzio, but the ten players they signed on Tuesday could end up making a big impact in the future on this Redblacks team. On the list was Joe Walker, Darrell Williams, Tyler Catalina Dwayne Norman, T.J Mutcherson and Kalon Beverly, but of the 10 signees fro Tuesday, I would keep eyes on the following three, Junior Joseph a linebacker from UCONN, Delvon Randall a saftey/defensive back from Temple and Cortrelle Simpson a wide receiver from Richmond.
Out of the players listed, Cortrelle Simpson is one to most likely impact the Ottawa Redblacks team soon. Simpson, a receiver from the University of Richmond in Virginia most recently played a part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pre-season roster where he played 2 games and caught one pass for 7 yards. Although the 7 yards don’t seem like much when talking about Simpson being a playmaker in Ottawa, he put up outrageous numbers ahead of that in University. At Richmond, Simpson suited up for 20 games over the span of two seasons catching 96 passes for 1680 yards and 11 touchdowns. Out of his numbers, 1,019 of the yards were gained in his junior year in 2017 where he was also able to score 6 of his 11 touchdowns.
In his University days and his camp in Tampa Bay, Cortrelle showed exactly the playmaker he is on the field, and if given the chance, he could make Marcel Desjardins a really proud general manager in Ottawa.
Also on the list were two defensive ball hawks at both linebacker and defensive back, starting off with Delvon Randall who has an opportunity to make an instant impact to the team’s defensive look.
The defensive backs in Ottawa re always coming and going but they’ve always had a good identity, and if he is given a roster spot for the 2020 CFL season, Delvon Randall can be in place of that identity. In 4 seasons that Randall spent in Temple, he played a huge role in their defensive secondary and he took that role and ran with it, forcing over 250 tackles, totaling for 23 pass deflections, 12 interceptions, 2 forced and recovered fumbles along with a sack. Given the numbers he produced in university, it is shown that he is able to make plays on the defensive side of the ball, and if given a chance he can do it here in Ottawa.