REDBLACKS bring OL Drew Desjarlais back to CFL

OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS have signed former CFL West Division All-Star and two-time Grey Cup Champion offensive lineman Drew Desjarlais to a two-year contract.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

So much for the NFL.

Now there's a guy that the Bombers could use on an aging OL. Nine years younger than Neufeld. Very reminiscent of 2020 when Bladek, selected 11th by the Riders in the draft, let him go. Loved Regina but, after putting in his 3 years, wasn't getting starter money because LaBatte was still around, who'd only played 6 games the year before. Time to move on, as great as a player LaBatte was. You draft a player, develop him, & he's gone. Worse, LaBatte never played again.

Desjarlais obviously saw Ottawa as a better fit. Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side it seems. Great catch by the REDBLACKS.

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I'm saddened Drew Desjarlais has decided not to come back to Winnipeg after his time in the NFL. However, I'm happy for Ottawa to have picked up an amazing young OL to help their team progress forward in the East. Great signing by the REDBLACKS!

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What? How didn’t the Bombers get him back?

Good luck to him in Ottawa. Should be a big part of that team next season shoring up their Oline.

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Man, now that I'm about to move away from Ottawa, the team keeps making solid additions. I would've liked to see them win at least one game while I was in attendance at TD Place.

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I'm guessing he got a really good contract offer from Ottawa. According to 3DownNation's Justin Dunk he is now the highest paid Offensive Lineman in the CFL.

Reportedly making $250,000+ in 2023 and $260,000+ in 2024.


yea i suspect the Bomber didn’t want to pay him that much. great addition to the RBs.


With 9 OL already signed in Winnipeg and Michael Couture still a free agent, I doubt there was any room for Kyle Walters to fit Drew Desjarlais into the budget, even on a minimum salary contract. It's unfortunate, but the Bombers made it work in 2022 so hopefully they can continue to make it work going forward.


yea i don’t think Bombers are hurting up front lol


I wonder if the Riders didn’t offer to pay him the same, but he opted for Ottawa for the same reasons BLM ruled out Regina.

Pure speculation, of course. But I do wonder

Yeah there is no way that the Bombers could afford to pay that much. That's Kenny Lawler money. There is also no way Desjarlais would be paid that much if he didn't have a Canadian birth certificate. Another prime example of the ratio damaging competetive integrity.

yes exactly. competitive and salary cap integrity really. the passport creates an unequal $/skill pay scale and an inordinate amount of cap space is used on the passport factor instead of better players regardless of birth certificate.

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$150,000 difference between Jerimiah Masoli and Zach Collaros makes paying Desjarlais possible. Every team has it's own priorities.

Thinking less chance of Eugene Lewis going to Ottawa now but who knows.

I'm guessing that while there was a bidding war, talks between Masoli's restructure were taking place. They found an extra $75K under the CAP to spend & Masoli gets a highly favourable (US tax wise) lump sum & ends up $30K ahead. Well worth it to have a guy like Desjarlais in front of him.