On Tuesday afternoon, the Ottawa Redblacks made the announcement that they had re-signed their star kick returner and wide receiver, DeVonte Dedmon. This season, Dedmon has 637 yards on punt returns, nearly 200 more yards than Frankie Williams who is in second place. On kickoff returns, Dedmon has 1,011 yards, nearly 500 more yards than Chandler Worthy who is in second place.
Dedmon also leads the league in punt return touchdowns this season, scoring two of the five that have been scored across the league. He has also mixed in 98 receiving yards and 65 rushing yards, including a touchdown. With 1,811 all-purpose yards this season, it is safe to say that Dedmon is the Redblacks’ most explosive playmaker and is one of the league’s up-and-coming stars.
“We’re excited to keep DeVonte in red and black for next season,” said Redblacks Interim General Manager Jeremy Snyder. “DeVonte’s skill set is special and has the reputation of altering the game when he is on the field. He is a true threat with the ball in his hands to score at any time. This is the first step of many to build for a better 2022.”
There have been rumours circulating that Dedmon would have some NFL interest ahead of the 2022 season, much like Diontea Spencer who is now with the Denver Broncos. While signing a one-year contract extension doesn’t stop Dedmon from leaving the nation’s capital in favour of the bright lights of the NFL entirely, but it would require the Redblacks to release him from his contract, something they do not have to do.
In the past, CFL fans have known the name Brandon Banks and acknowledged him as one of the best kick returners in the game, but to put things into perspective, Banks has only had one season with more than 1,000 kickoff return yards and 500 punt return yards, something he did in 16 games. Dedmon on the other hand has done that in nine games this season.
There’s no question that Dedmon has been critical to the Redblacks this season. Without him, the offence would have had numerous long fields to drive, and knowing how the offence has shaped up this season, there’s no guarantee points would have gone on the board. It’s just one piece to the puzzle, but there are eight other CFL teams who would have loved to get Dedmon in the fold. He’s staying in Ottawa, and it’s an important step into being competitive in 2022.