Lorenzo Mauldin IV plans to test free agency after breakout season with Ottawa Redblacks

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Lorenzo Mauldin IV is coming off a dominant season with the Ottawa Redblacks and wants to be paid accordingly.

“I told [general manager Shawn Burke] I want to open it up and see what they have to offer. I got a glimpse of it coming from Hamilton over to Ottawa. It was a pretty fun experience but I don’t think I can deal with that (this time around) so I went ahead and got an agent because it’s about to get real,” Mauldin told the media on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old signed in the nation’s capital this past winter after serving in a rotational role with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for two seasons. His production exploded in his first year as a starter, recording 43 tackles, 17 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He was named a CFL all-star and the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the East Division.

Burke was one of the leaders in Hamilton’s personnel department before being hired as the general manager in Ottawa immediately following the 2021 season. The promise of more playing time was one of the key tools that he used to recruit Mauldin to sign with the Redblacks.

“I told Burkey off the rip, if I’m coming over there I’ve gotta be the guy. I’ve gotta start because if you want to see progression out of me, I’ve gotta be on the field. You’ve seen what I can do on special teams, so if I can just sprinkle in a couple sacks here and there, imagine what I could do when I’m on the field at all times.”

The Louisville product was a third-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2015 NFL Draft. He dressed for 26 games over his first two seasons with the team and made 33 total tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two knockdowns, and one interception. He missed the entire 2017 season due to a back injury and was released the following year.

Mauldin is up for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award on Thursday against Calgary Stampeders’ defensive end Shawn Lemon, who is representing the West Division.