Falcons Sign Former Husky, 2021 CFL Standout

Falcons sign Brayden Lenius

Getty Running back Myles Gaskin #9 Washington Huskies celebrates with wide receiver Brayden Lenius #81.

The Atlanta Falcons topped off their regular season, losing to the New Orleans Saints, 30-20, last Sunday to finish the year with a 7-10 record.

Now, with the 2021 season in the rearview mirror and Draft Day right around the corner, Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot have a lot of work on this roster to do.

They started on Monday by signing former Canadian Football League receiver, Brayden Lenius.

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Lenius Was Drafted in the Second Round of the CFL Draft

Lenius was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday, January 7 in order to pursue NFL opportunities––which didn’t take him too long.

The former Washington Husky/New Mexico Lobo was selected by the Roughriders in the second round (15th overall) of the 2019 CFL Draft. He recorded just two interceptions for four yards during his rookie year.

After the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, Lenius returned for a breakout 2021 season.

Playing in all 14 games, he caught 37 receptions for 471 yards and four receiving touchdowns during the regular season. He also added another six catches and 43 yards in the Roughriders’ two playoff games.

Prior to being released at his own wish, the Regina native was set to become a free agent in February.

At a time where the Falcons are in desperate need of multiple wide receivers, Lenius will have a chance to prove himself this offseason for a more permanent spot on the 2022 roster.


 Will Calvin Ridley Return?

The season is over and there is still no update on whether or not Calvin Ridley will be a Falcon in 2022.

But, for now, the chances are not looking good.

NFL Network’s Steve Wyche recently joined The Dukes & Bells podcast where he gave his best-educated guess on the potential fate of the Falcons No. 1 wide receiver, suggesting that he wants out:

“I don’t know everything that’s going on here, but for him not to service and for the team not to say anything about him all season long..leads me to believe that at some point maybe his side is like ‘he needs a fresh start’ or the Falcons might be like, ‘hey, we need a fresh start.’”

Ridley made a surprising decision to step away from football to take care of his mental health back in Week 8. Ridley finished his shortened 2021 season with 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

It was obvious that the Falcons’ offense has struggled without Ridley and the lack of reliable receivers for Matt Ryan after they fell short of a postseason berth for the fifth-straight year.

With Russell Gage, Tajae Sharpe, Olamide Zaccheaus and Christian Blake en route to the open market, the Falcons are left with Frank Darby, who has didn’t play a major role during his rookie year.

Of course, the Falcons can opt to re-sign Gage and the others if they choose to return, but it’s ultimately going to come down to their messy salary cap situation. So, putting Ridley on the trade market at this point might be in their best interest to rack up some more draft capital and money to fill out the roster holes.

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