The Ottawa Redblacks have re-signed kicker Lewis Ward and punter Richie Leone.
Hearing from some sources that the Ottawa #Redblacks have signed kicker @LewyWard17 and punter @RichieLeone15 to 1 year contracts. Both had some NFL looks and were set to be free agents in a few days. #RNation
— Stephen Bunda ???????? (@TSN1200Bunda) February 2, 2020
Ward played USports football with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. He went unselected in the 2017 CFL draft, but won the 2018 CFL Most Rookie and Most Outstanding Special Teams awards. That year Ward set the single season league record for field goal percentage making 98.1 percent of his kicks.
The 27-year-old Kingston, Ontario native holds the CFL record for consecutive regular season field goals made at 69. Overall, Ward has made 92.2 percent of his three-point attempts in 36 CFL games. He’s hit on 94-of-102 tries with a long of 56 yards.
NFL teams saw Ward’s accuracy and became interested. He worked out for four NFL franchises in December, but elected to stay in the nation’s capital for the 2020 season. Ward is the most accurate Canadian three-point specialist in the league.
Leone is a three-time CFL all-star punter, lead the three-down league in punting average in 2015 and 2016 (49.5 and 49.3) and East Division in 2019 (48.4). The 27-year-old Leone has played 71 CFL games punting 472 times for 22,809 gross yards (48.3 average). 83 yards is Leone’s longest career punt.
After the 2016 CFL season Leone inked a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, but he was waived among the final roster moves before the regular season on September 2 and signed a free agent pact with Ottawa. Leone went unselected in the 2014 NFL draft out of the University of Houston, he went to training camp with the Baltimore Ravens, but released among last training camp cuts.
Happy to announce that both @LewyWard17 and @RichieLeone15 have agreed to 1-year contracts with the @REDBLACKS. With these 2 men as well as @louis_pb and @josemaltos19 working under Coach @BobbyLADyce, this group of specialists will truly be special. #Redblacks
— MARCEL DESJARDINS (@REDBLACKSGM) February 2, 2020
Ward and Leone give the Redblacks a dynamic duo at kicker and punter respectively.