It is with great pleasure that I announce that professional gridiron football is BACK this week.
While the AAF may have failed to even complete its only season in existence, the Canadian Football League has been going strong for more than 60 years, and the CFL’s regular season kicks off this Thursday.
The Calgary Stampeders are the defending Grey Cup champions, having beaten the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 last November. Former Seattle Seahawks WR Chris Matthews was a part of Calgary’s triumph, catching 4 passes for 59 yards in the championship game.
I’ve scanned all nine CFL rosters to see which former Seahawks are playing north of the border. I’ve decided to separate them based on guys who were on the active roster/practice squad but never played a game, while those who did at least see a regular season snap get their own section.
Played for the Seahawks in the regular season
Jon Ryan, P, Saskatchewan Roughriders. He needs no introduction or description.
Chris Matthews, WR, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The aforementioned Matthews is back where he began his CFL career back in 2012. Matthews gained notoriety for his onside kick recovery in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, followed by his tremendous performance in Super Bowl XLIX. Seattle released him in 2015 and he went to the Baltimore Ravens, playing there until 2017. He returned to the CFL by signing with Calgary in 2018.
Paul Dawson, LB, Saskatchewan Roughriders. Dawson was signed in 2017 by the Seahawks as linebacker and special teams depth. He was waived in 2018 and has been in the CFL ever since.
Was on the Seahawks roster, but never played in the regular season
Kenny Lawler, WR, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The former California Golden Bear was a seventh-round pick by Seattle in 2016, but only made the practice squad and never was part of the 53-man roster. He was signed by the BC Lions in 2018 and now has made the move to Winnipeg.
Rodney Smith, WR, Toronto Argonauts. Smith had intrigue in training camp and was part of Seattle’s WR battle both in 2016 and 2017. I remember him scoring a touchdown in preseason against the Oakland Raiders in 2017, but ultimately he didn’t make the grade. Smith has been a part of Toronto’s squad since 2018.
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Yes, Winnipeg has three former Seahawks. Jeffcoat was an UDFA on the 2014 squad, having been part of a Texas Longhorns team in 2013 that yielded zero draft picks. Jeffcoat has 12 sacks since joining the Blue Bombers in 2017.
Chandler Fenner, DB, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Actually, make it four ex-Seahawks. Fenner was on Seattle’s practice squad from 2012-2013 and was waived in 2014. He has been in the CFL since 2016.
Cordarro Law, DL, Calgary Stampeders. Law was a UDFA signing by the Seahawks in 2012, but was released before the start of the regular season. He spent two seasons in Calgary, including a 14-sack season in 2013, leading to a contract with the Chargers. Law returned to the Stampeders in 2016, but 2013 remains his gold standard.
Eddy Wilson, DT, Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Signed by the Seahawks in May 2018 and was waived in August. He played for the Salt Lake Stallions in the AAF, but with that league now defunct, Wilson has a new place to play.
Marcus Cromartie, DB, Montreal Alouettes. It was a brief stay on the Seahawks roster for Antonio’s cousin. He was placed on IR in September 2017 and waived a week later.
Shaneil Jenkins, DE, Ottawa Redblacks. He was on the Seahawks practice squad in late 2016, signed a futures contract in the offseason, but was waived in August 2017. This is Jenkins’ first season in the CFL.
Tyrell Sutton, RB, Toronto Argonauts. The ex-Northwestern star was in Seattle as a preseason player in 2012. He was another futures contract player, and he was let go during roster cuts. He’s led the CFL in rushing yards in 2015, with 1,059. This is Sutton’s first year in Toronto after several seasons with Montreal, and one year with the BC Lions.
And that’s it! Winnipeg is obviously the team to root for if you are still a fan of Kenny Lawler’s potential and Chris Matthews in general. It’s also more than reasonable to pull for Saskatchewan to punt as many times as possible so we get to see Jon Ryan more often. Maybe he’ll pick up a couple of rouges.