February 8, 2019

Stegall: REDBLACKS ‘have to find a way to sign Greg Ellingson back’

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

TORONTO — The Ottawa REDBLACKS have already made some moves this off-season, extending quite a few of their pending free agents.

They still have work to do on the offensive side of the ball, however, as the team has yet to strike up a deal with quarterback Trevor Harris, receiver Greg Ellingson and running back William Powell.

On this week’s episode of The Waggle podcast presented by Sport Clips, Donnovan Bennett, Davis Sanchez and special guest Milt Stegall agreed that, along with Harris, making sure Ellingson is under contract next season is the No. 1 priority for the REDBLACKS heading into free agency.

Episode 144: Free Agency Preview Part 2 (East Division)

EPISODE OVERVIEW: We’ve moved east, talking free agency implications for all of the teams in the East Division. Who will be major players? Who’s on the move? We’ve got Milt Stegall back to talk about all of it with us as we get you primed for CFL free agency!

EPISODE RUNDOWN: CTiger-Cats FA Primer (2:00); Argonauts FA Primer (15:15); REDBLACKS FA Primer (19:26); Alouettes FA Primer (27:00).

“With the loss of Diontae Spencer, they need that one-two punch,” said Stegal. “Brad Sinopoli is locked up and those two (Sinopoli and Ellingson), they play well together. Greg Ellingson is that red zone guy. In the red zone you know you can count on this guy. Four-straight years over 1000 yards. They’ve got to sign this guy back. I know he wants to be there but he also wants to be compensated very well. That may be tough but they have to find a way to sign Greg Ellingson back.”

Ellingson enjoyed a stellar 2018 campaign hauling in 91 catches for 1,086 yards and five touchdowns. The 30-year-old has thrived in Ottawa’s offence since arriving in 2015, tallying 1000 yards in every season he’s donned the red and black. In four years in the nation’s capital, Ellingson has scored 30 touchdowns and caught 4,866 yards through the air, becoming an important part of the team’s offensive attack.

Another pending free agent that the podcast trio thinks the REDBLACKS need to keep around is running back William Powell, and for good reason.

In his third season in Ottawa, Powell suited up in 16 games, sitting out the last two of the regular season to prepare for the playoffs. He tallied 1,362 yards and six touchdowns on the ground on 251 carries. According to Stegall, if the 30-year-old running back played in the last two games of the season, he likely would have won the rushing title.

“Last year he had a break out year,” Stegall said of Powell. “I think if he played those two games, I thought he could have played, he leads the league in rushing. (He’s) solid out of the backfield. He can do it all. When he’s on the field, he makes it happen.”

With the free agency period just around the corner, it opens on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET, the REDBLACKS offensive trio could hit the open market.