William Powell Returns to Redblacks

No contract can officially be signed until Tuesday afternoon, but it looks like the Ottawa Redblacks have added yet another free agent piece. They now add running back William Powell to a list that includes Jeremiah Masoli, Kwaku Boateng, Lorenzo Mauldin IV, Llevi Noel and Jaelon Acklin as players that will be wearing the red and black in 2022.

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Powell’s announcement came via a post on his personal Twitter account with a video that featured some of his highlights as well as the message “I’m coming home,” followed by the Redblacks’ logo. Powell cut his teeth in the CFL with the Redblacks when he rushed for 447 yards in seven games in 2015 before coming back with back-to-back East Division all-star calibre seasons in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, he rushed for 1,362 yards, a mark that was good for second in the league.

Powell was part of the mass exodus of talent the Rebdlacks underwent in the 2019 offseason. He would eventually sign with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he spent two more productive seasons, rushing for 1,826 yards and 15 touchdowns in 31 games. He would also add 75 receptions, picking up 595 yards and two more touchdowns.

William Powell, Ottawa Redblacks – The Canadian Press

The main concern with Powell at this stage is his age. When the season starts, he will be 34 years old and in many cases, running backs are already just about out of gas or out of the league by this stage. With Powell, however, there hasn’t yet been a sudden drop-off in his play. The Redblacks might not be getting the same player they let walk away in 2019, but they are getting a player who should still produce at minimum league average numbers.

Related: Ottawa Redblacks Free Agency 2022

The past two seasons, the Redblacks have been searching for their lead back. They have checked out John Crockett, who in fairness, did an effective enough job, but they went with Timothy Flanders in 2021 and saw just marginal success outside of a couple of games. There have been a couple of other names in there including Mossis Madu and De’Lance Turner, the latter of whom could take some pressure off Powell’s shoulders at various points in the season.

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Powell will be bringing his hard running back to the nation’s capital and the news has fans celebrating the return of a former fan favourite. There is still some concern regarding the offensive line in particular, but general manager Shawn Burke is wasting little time in his efforts to bring the Redblacks back to their former glory.

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