The Ottawa Redblacks made the biggest splash in the lead up to CFL free agency on Friday, agreeing to terms with star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli during the league’s legal tampering window, but it appears they weren’t satisfied to leave it there.
According to TSN’s Farhan Lalji, the Redblacks have also reached an agreement with ratio-breaking defensive end Kwaku Boateng that would bring the Canadian to the nation’s capital.
Lalji shared the news with the following tweet: “Kwaku Boateng’s deal with RedBlacks also done. 1 year, $150k hard, $160k all in. Will be reunited with [defensive coordinator] Mike Benevides with whom he had his most success.”
The report came as a quote-tweet to an earlier report from the Ottawa Sun’s Tim Baines saying that the Redblacks were approaching a deal with Canadian receiver Llevi Noel.
“The Redblacks are also closing in on signing 6-foot-2 Canadian WR Llevi Noel, a 30-year-old who’s been with the Argos for the past five seasons. In 2018, he had 47 catches for 512 yards.”
Neither player can officially sign with the club until free agency opens on February 8.
A former fifth-round pick out of Wilfrid Laurier, Boateng had a down year in 2021, recording 15 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble in 12 games due to COVID. However, the six-foot-two, 260-pounder has proven to be one of the CFL’s best pass rushers in recent year. Over the past four seasons, he’s made 83 total tackles, 25 sacks and one forced fumble in 64 career games.
As a rookie, Boateng displayed the ability to get to opposing quarterbacks even as a rotational player. During his sophomore season, Boateng earned a starting role playing 16 games and recording nine sacks earning team Most Outstanding Canadian honours.
The two-time U Sports All-Canadian played an integral role in Laurier’s 2016 Yates Cup championship, the program’s first since 2005. Boateng is the Golden Hawks career sack leader (20.5) and proved his ability to rush the passer at the university level. He was a two-time academic All-Canadian as well.
Noel has spent all five of his CFL seasons in his hometown of Toronto, but was hurt for much of 2021 and played just four games. During the 2019 season, the six-foot, 210-pound pass catcher hauled in 28 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown while finishing second on the team with 21 special teams tackles.
For his pro career, the former University of Toronto Varsity Blue has caught 82 passes for 869 yards and four touchdowns in 74 games and chipped in with 79 special teams tackles, including finishing second in the league with 27 in 2017.