Falcons Tryout Ex-Seahawks Draft Bust, CFL Star

Seahawks WR Kenny Lawler

Getty Kenny Lawler #11 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a touchdown during a preseason game.

The Atlanta Falcons have a lot of off-season needs, including at the wide receiver position.

The club signed wide receiver/tight end Brayden Lenius on Monday and worked out another wideout, Kenny Lawler, on Tuesday, according to 3 Down Nation’s Justin Dunk.

Dunk also noted that Lawler was the Canadian Football League’s 2021 receiving yard leader:

With Calvin Ridley’s 2022 status uncertain and Atlanta’s other top receivers hitting the open market, we should expect to see a handful of wide receiver tryouts and signings throughout the offseason as they look for replacements.

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Lawler Spent Very Little Time in the NFL

Lawler, 27, was initially drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft. He failed to make the final the final roster cuts and didn’t play during his rookie year, but was signed to a reserve/future contract in 2017. He made it on the practice squad for the beginning of the season but was soon released.

Not making it in the NFL didn’t stop Lawler from continuing his football aspirations and in 2018, he made his journey to the CFL.

He first signed with the BC Lions, who also signed four other wideouts which eventually led to him signing a new contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Lawler didn’t become a key contributor for the Bombers until the 2019 season where he helped the team reach their first Grey Cup in 29 years that they went on to win.

The following year, the CFL was forced to cancel their 2020 season and Lawler opted out of his contract but signed a one-year extension in 2021. It was his best year yet, as he led the CFL in receiving yards with 1,014 yards and scored six touchdowns. He was also named CFL West All-Star and CFL All-Star for the first time in his career and earned himself, and the Bombers, another Grey Cup title.

 Lenius and Lawler Have Something in Common

The Falcons seem to be on a CFL kick at the moment as both Lenius and Lawler are looking at NFL opportunities after spending the last few seasons playing in the CFL.

Lenius, 25, 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. Now, he and Lawler will see if they can find a permanent role in the NFL for the 2022 season before they have to turn to the CFL again.




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