It was a big day in RNation on Friday. Just hours after Justin Dunk reported that Jeremiah Masoli had decided to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks, Farhan Lalji dropped another big piece of news. Kwaku Boateng, who has spent his entire four-year career in Edmonton with the Elks has also agreed to terms with the Redblacks.
The focus for fans might be on the offensive side of the football, especially the offensive line and the receiving corps, but sacking the quarterback has been an issue for the Redblacks in the past. In 2021, they were tied with the Elks for sixth in the league with 30 total sacks, but they were far behind the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders who were number one and two respectively in the category.
According to Lalji, Boateng’s deal carries a value of $150,000 in hard money and an additional $10,000 in incentives. Currently, the Redblacks are scheduled to lose both Avery Ellis and Davon Coleman when Free Agency opens on Tuesday afternoon, and this move allowed them to not only replace those two but improve on what they already had. Boateng has never had a season in the CFL where he collected fewer than four sacks, and in 2021, he reached that number while picking up 15 tackles in 12 games.
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In 2018 and 2019, the Wilfred Laurier alum was a force to be reckoned with, and if the Redblacks get anywhere close to that level of production, they will become much more threatening with their pass rush. Between Boateng’s history of disrupting the passing game and his Canadian passport, the Redblacks had to open up the pocketbooks a little bit, but figuring out one of their weak points would be well worth the money.
Boateng will join Cleyon Laing as a Canadian on the defensive line in Ottawa. There is another upside to this move as well, it opens up another spot for an American to play elsewhere if general manager Shawn Burke and head coach Paul LaPolice decide to go that route. It could mean an additional American on the offensive line, it could be another American receiver, or it could even open the door for a player like Micah Awe to return to the team.
Before Free Agency has even officially opened, the Redblacks have agreements with two of the top names available. If that’s any indication of what is to come for them, they will be right back in the mix for a playoff spot. The East Division is about to heat up, and right now, there’s no telling who could represent the East in the Grey Cup in Saskatchewan.
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