Canadian DL Jonathan Kongbo released by Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Canadian defensive end Jonathan Kongbo has been released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at his own request.

“I want to thank the Ticats for granting me my release. Wish my teammates the best moving forward,” he wrote on social media. “The best is yet to come! Count on it.”

Hamilton confirmed the move on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old was traded to the Ticats in June only two weeks after signing with his hometown B.C. Lions. The move came after he and the club had a falling out during which he questioned the club’s culture on social media following reports that he wasn’t a fit in the locker room.

The six-foot-five, 266-pound defender made 15 defensive tackles and three special teams tackles over 18 regular season games with Hamilton this past season in a depth role. He was set to earn a $15,000 off-season roster bonus on Feb. 1, 3DownNation exclusively reported last week.

Kongbo was a first-round pick in the 2019 CFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee. He made 12 tackles and one sack with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a rookie before spending 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers. He returned to Winnipeg in 2021 and won a second Grey Cup with the team prior to a second stint in the NFL.

The native of Kinshasa, Zaire signed with the Denver Broncos in 2022 and dressed for three regular season games, recording one tackle. He was primarily raised in Surrey, B.C.