The big names keep coming off the board for the Ottawa Redblacks. After reportedly signing both Jeremiah Masoli and Kwaku Boateng on Friday, two more players have announced that they will be joining the Redblacks in 2022 via Twitter.
Mauldin was the first of the two to announce their decision. Having previously spent some time in the NFL with the New York Jets where he played two seasons and picked up an interception, he has made the change to the Canadian game where he has played the past two seasons. In 17 CFL games, Mauldin has 13 defensive tackles and 12 special teams tackles as well as four sacks and a forced fumble.
By the time the season starts, he very well could be a starter on the defensive line alongside the aforementioned Boateng and Cleyon Laing. Even a moderate level of production for Mauldin could help take the Redblacks’ defensive line to the next level. The Louisville alum carries an American passport, but considering the Redblacks already have two impact Canadians on their defensive line, it’s not an issue whatsoever.
Related: Ottawa Redblacks Free Agency 2022
The signing that is going to have Redblacks fans signing in the streets, however, is Acklin. The Western Illinois alum is heading into his third CFL season at the age of 26 after two productive seasons in the Hammer. There have previously been issues with big-play receivers in Ottawa, but now, it looks like one of Masoli’s favourite weapons from Hamilton is joining him in his new city.
In 31 CFL games, Acklin has 108 receptions for 1,386 yards and seven touchdowns. He is yet to register his first 1,000-yard receiving season, but considering he was oftentimes down the order in the depth chart in Hamilton, especially early in his career, this isn’t exactly surprising. In Ottawa, Acklin will likely be given the keys in a sense. He will have an increased role and will be a favourite target for a quarterback he has plenty of familiarity with.
In 2021, Acklin was the Tiger-Cats second-leading receiver behind only Tim White who had a monster rookie season. He should help figure out one of the biggest issues from the Redblacks 2021 roster, and while there is still some way to go before general manager Shawn Burke can say that he has built a Grey Cup contending roster, they are well on their way to being competitive once again.
They will still need some help on the offensive line, a running back, and possibly a few more players to pair with Acklin on the receiving corps to complete the offence, but fans in RNation have to be excited about what they have seen from their team so far in Free Agency. They are off to a hot start.
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