Eskimos cut RB John White

Edmonton has released running back John White, per sources.

White did pass his physical with the Eskimos on Saturday.

The 26-year-old is coming off a torn ACL suffered in the second game of 2017 after rushing for over 100 yards in Week 1. That was two season-ending injuries for White in the last three years. He tore his Achilles during training camp and missed the entire 2015 campaign.

But White had 1,350 yards from scrimmage with 886 on the ground in 2016 – the University of Utah product produces when healthy. In four seasons with the Eskimos, White has played in 41 games with 376 carries for 3,110 yards (5.6-yard average) and 12 TDs adding 84 catches for 736 yards.

A productive and dynamic back when on the field, White has become unexpectedly available.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk

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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (885 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

23 Comments on Eskimos cut RB John White

  1. That was the white call

  2. Edward Leslie // May 19, 2018 at 10:13 pm //

    Too bad. I admired John White’s fiery and combative attitude. He was excellent in 2016.
    But after two serious injuries in three years, and the addition of CJ Gable I’m not shocked.
    The Esks have added two exceptional USports tailbacks Alex Taylor and Christopher Amoah to be Gable’s backups. Plus dependable Veteran National Calvin McCarty is still around too.

    I think the Calgary Stampeders should give John White a tryout. With no Jerome Messam or Roy Finch, White could seize the starting running back spot for sure.

    • Mr Red. // May 20, 2018 at 12:43 am //

      Yeah Calgary could be a possibility. assuming he can still play

    • Can’t be surprised by this move – – quality Import RBs are a dime a dozen.

      CJ Gable is trash, I’d be shocked if he’s the starting RB this year. But I’d be even more shocked if one of those CIS rookies is the back up. That’d be Perkins and McCarty.

    • Shaq Cooper will be Gables backup and the punt returner this year in the Empire. That is obvious as the Esks have released all other international RB’s.

      Blair Zerr, Alex Taylor and maybe Chris Amoah will all be converted to SB/RB hybrid. Zerr and Taylor both have good hands. So does Cooper, who has several long bomb receptions from the RB position while in college. Looks like the Esks are putting more importance on their RB’s to be multi-purpose as in PR/SB/RB.

      The Stamps are inexperienced at RB and it would be wise for Calgary to pick up White. Can White still use that now famous jump cut to make people look silly or have the injuries taken their toll? Maybe we will find out on Labour Day.

  3. Ticats could use another tail back

  4. What a dumb move by the Esks, especially with the release of Travon Van a few weeks ago. With injuries you can never have enough depth what with TC opening on Sunday….

    • Can’t have a fragile and injury prone RB – – especially an Import. There’s so many other RBs coming out of the NCAA every year. Let’s see how the two Import rookies do, particularly Shaq Cooper.

      • Cooper is the last man standing … the Esks have suspended or released all non-national RB’s other than Gable and Cooper. A nice combination of power and speed with Cooper likely to be the punt returner. Check out his highlights … there a few catches on a bombs down the sidelines … can you say CFL Tarik Cohen?

  5. BoLevisShoulderBrace // May 20, 2018 at 1:59 am //

    Torn knee, ruptured Achilles, hitting that 30 year old line. Probably close to that 100k a year salary. You cannot be paying a guy that much money without being aware of some injury problems. I bet white is still hurt and cannot compete

  6. ChuckReels // May 20, 2018 at 5:55 am //

    This is so bizarre! Someone would be crazy not to pick this guy up. I don’t care if he’s been hurt twice. Best backs in this league with blocking and running. Eskimos are really losing their marbles on this one. Especially before camp.

    • With Gable it was obvious White was going and with Shaq Cooper’s mini-camp performance the Esks now have their punt returner RB backup. Sunderland has said that Cooper can flip the field whenever he touches the ball. Power and speed platoon in the backfield means White and all other non-national RB’s have been purged from the Esks roster.

    • riderontheisland // May 22, 2018 at 10:54 am //

      He has only been on the field for 26 games in the last 4 seasons (72 games). He could be Barry Sanders, but when you aren’t on the field you have little value.

  7. Barry Soetoro // May 20, 2018 at 9:44 am //

    If he’s healthy, he’s better than any running back the Riders have.

  8. At this time of year, “you can’t keep them all”, will be repeated by shocked fans and media members as cuts are made. Indeed, it is a harsh reality that fan favorites will have to move on. The release of John White will shock some Eskie fans, but logically this is the right move for White and the Esks.

    Most likely Brock Sunderland has been attempting to trade White all off-season mostly to keep him out of the CFL West. Jason Maas and the Esks coaching staff know what White can do to defenses and if the Calgary Stampeders were to sign White then Labour Day could have a new motivated hero for the Stamps.

    The bigger question in the White saga is he 100% healthy. He passed his physical on Saturday, but he has become a “band aid” in some eyes. Most likely this reputation resulted in no takers in trading with the Esks for White. However, some team will take a chance on White if there is no real cost to acquiring him. At this point in time the Stamps have a need for a veteran running back to platoon with Terry Williams who only has 21 carriers in the CFL.

    Some have suggested that it was somehow morally wrong for the Esks to wait to release White if they had no intention of keeping him on the roster. However, one can also say that the Esks could have waited until the end of camp to release White and the fact they didn’t shows that did the right thing for the player. We must keep in mind that Sunderland has an obligation to the Esks first and the player second. In fact, the Esks just help prove White’s health and he should have no problem signing with the Stamps or another team.

    The Esks have several RB’s in camp and this has more to do with C.J. Gable, LaDarius Perkins, Korliss Marshall and Shaq Cooper. All three of the young speed backs are punt returners and White is not. Of the three Shaq Cooper impressed at mini-camp as a punt returner and backup RB. The comment from Sunderland is that Cooper can, “flip the field”. It is good form for the Esks to release White now if he is not in their plans, but if he signs with the Stamps or the Lions this release could come back to haunt them.

    Nevertheless, you can’t keep them all.

    • Just read this morning the following release from the Esks:


      Korliss Marshall


      LaDarius Perkins
      John White

      Looks like the Esks are committing to Shaq Cooper early on in camp. Sunderland likes Cooper as a speed back and punt returner with his 5′ 10″ 190 pound frame and 4.57 / 40 speed.

      The Esks have their punt returner and backup RB. Who will be the other kick returner? A defensive back in in Chris Edwards or a receiver like Shaq Hill? How about a national in Blair Zerr, Alex Taylor or Chris Amoha?

      • Can Marshall even cross the border? Charged with possession earlier this year and then tacked on a failure to appear charge for good measure.

        Agree that Cooper looks interesting with his speed. Not sure about the power – – or the blocking ability though. But definitely a big play threat.

        Really surprised he didn’t get more of a look – – teams had to know about him when they were there scouting Nathan Shepherd.

        • The Esks like the Shakir Bell / Kendial Lawrence / LaDarius Perkins speed back for a change of pace and punt returns.

          Alex Taylor is getting a serious look and so with newbie Jordan Robinson who has more size. I think Taylor is more the speed back with receiving hands, but from what I saw on video Robsion breaks tackles, has break away speed and can catch long balls down the sideline.

          However, the guy who could pass block, receive and run the ball … at least on film … was Blair Zerr. I would bet the Esks have one national running back on the active roster (not a FB) and one on the PR.

  9. White Horse // May 20, 2018 at 11:47 am //

    I would prefer to see the Stamps sign Perkins who also was released. He was dynamic last year with the Esks.
    He also may be injured to start this season.

    • thethinman // May 20, 2018 at 12:01 pm //

      Perkins would be cheaper & I think you’re on the right track. With Williams, they may have their #1. Perkins would provide insurance & not cost much.

  10. James Fleck // May 20, 2018 at 8:38 pm //

    A CFL vet making a decent buck vs a CIS – NCAA rookie or NFL cut. Either way the $$$ are cheaper by cutting White and going in the other direction. 2 import RB starters like Gable and White don’t add up right with the salary cap. Might come back to haunt the Eskimos if White gets a starter job elsewhere in the league. When 100% healthy he is one heck of a RB.

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