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January 18, 2021

REDBLACKS extend three including Saunders

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

OTTAWA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS have signed linebacker Jerod Fernandez, receiver Jalen Saunders and running back Timothy Flanders to contract extensions, the team announced on Monday. All three were set to become free agents in February.

After joining Ottawa in the middle of the 2019 season, Fernandez made a big impact in a short amount of time, finishing the season with 53 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles in 11 games — one of which was a strip of William Stanback in overtime to seal a walk-off win for the REDBLACKS. Fernandez signed with the National Football League’s Washington Football Team as an undrafted free agent in 2018. ln four pre-season games, he recorded two sacks during his second appearance in a win over the New York Jets.

Saunders previously suited up for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017 and 2018, where he recorded 1,909 yards and six touchdowns. In 2017, Saunders had 1,170 yards and four touchdowns for the Ticats. He recorded 739 yards in just nine games in 2018 before his season was cut short due to injury. Saunders was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round in 2014 and would suit up for nine games with the Jets and New Orleans Saints that season. He also spent time on NFL rosters with Arizona, Seattle, New England and Chicago.

Flanders had 96 carries 541 yards in three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Flanders played 54 games over four seasons (2010-13) at Sam Houston State. He completed his career as the all-time rushing leader for the Bearkats and the Southland Conference with 5,664 yards and 66 touchdowns. Flanders was a three-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding offensive player in Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

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