It’s often an uphill climb for former Canadian Football League players to make an NFL roster, but one prominent coach believes his CFL addition deserves to be talked about in the same breath as other key free agent additions.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was asked how the additions of Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to his secondary made the team better, but he wanted to give some love to former Winnipeg Blue Bombers cover man Winston Rose.
“It’s not just those two. Those two have played a lot of ball and have done very well, but don’t sleep on LeShaun Sims. Don’t sleep on Winston Rose,” he told Bengals’ writer Geoff Hobson.
“Those guys are guys that have been successful. Winston up in Canada, having all those interceptions the last couple of years. LeShaun Sims has played meaningful football in big games. They’re all big guys. They all have length to them.”
Rose played the last three seasons in the CFL with four teams, including this past season when he helped the Bombers win the Grey Cup title.
The 26-year-old recorded a league-high nine picks in 2019 en route to being named a CFL all-star. He notched 58 tackles and a touchdown in 18 starts, helping lock down the boundary side of Winnipeg’s secondary. Rose spent the 2018 season with the B.C. Lions, and tied for the CFL lead with five interceptions. He had brief stops in Toronto and Ottawa in 2017.
Rose played his NCAA football at New Mexico State University and was a free agent signing of the L.A. Rams in 2016. He was waived by the Rams in May and then spent the 2016 pre-season with the Indianapolis Colts before being let go again.
Three years later, Rose has another shot at an NFL roster spot after signing with the Bengals in the off-season and it appears he is already making an impression.