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Edmonton Eskimos’ Jake Ceresna Passes Up XFL Opportunity

CFL defensive lineman Jake Ceresna has decided to remain in Canada after being drafted by the DC Defenders. Selected in the XFL Draft’s 30-round fifth phase, he was a great sleeper pick, and the Defenders would’ve benefited from his interior pass rush skills.

Ceresna has been in NFL camps with the Jets and Giants, and though he has yet to see the field in American pro football, he’s shined in Canada. His rookie year in Ottawa, he posted 2 sacks, and last year with Edmonton he produced 8 QB takedowns.

At 6’5″ 295 pounds, he’s an ideal 3 technique, and the Defenders would’ve done well with his skill set. However, after his success in Canada, it’s not surprising he wants to stick to his guns. He’s found a winning formula and he doesn’t want to add more to his plate.

The CFL season has 18 games, with a 3-week playoff before the Grey Cup, so players can be in up to 22 games per season. Add in 10 regular-season games in the XFL and the playoffs, and he could’ve ended up playing anywhere from 28-34 games in one year.

That’s a lot of football.

He also mentioned concern over the XFL’s lack of a player association. Many of the details of the league’s organization continue to shake out as we progress towards the season, so perhaps the emergence of a players association sometime in the future will alleviate this apprehension.

Ceresna was worried about the injury status of XFL players, but Oliver Luck has made it clear that insuring players was the league’s first priority upon its reformation.

” I’ve been at all levels of football, and the importance of a broad-based insurance program cannot be understated”

-Oliver Luck

The league is paying over $10 million annually for premiums alone, and roughly half of players’ contracts are guaranteed so injured players won’t be left high and dry. Though there is not as of yet an XFLPA, provisions have been made to take care of injured players and guarantee they aren’t left to their own devices like they were in the AAF’s collapse.

Defenders Front Seven Depth

The Defenders will miss his presence on the line, but they have more than enough talent to lock down the trenches.

Tracey Sprinkle is a great interior pass rusher out of Ohio State. He has played with the Panthers and Texans and most recently made an impact in the AAF. With the Atlanta Legends, he tied for 3rd in the league with 5 sacks in 8 games. He’s also cut out to be a 3 technique so that Ceresna’s position won’t be left with a void.

Supplemental Draft pick Jay Bromley is another force at DT and was an integral part of the Giant’s defense during his time there from 2014-2017. In his NFL career, he’s recorded 80 tackles as a run stuffer and has flashed some ability to get to the quarterback with 2 sacks. He also had 9 sacks at DT during his senior year at Syracuse.

Elijah Qualls and Sam Montgomery have both displayed good disruptive abilities and pass rush acumen in their playing time, and provide quality depth for the Defenders in the middle.

While it’s not ideal to lose talent in the offseason, that’s just part of the roster Olympics that have defined pro football since the advent of free agency. Talent comes and goes, but there’s always the next man up to step in and chase their dreams on the field.

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Matt Nagashima has been covering the XFL since before the 2019 Draft, and has witnessed history being made as a Credentialed Reporter for the Dallas Renegades. While he is engrossed with the X's and O's, the roster building and more, it has always been his goal to keep the players first in mind in coverage, showing the human aspect of this sport behind all the action on the field. With Dany Garcia and Dwayne The Rock Johnson now at the helm, he's excited to see all the opportunities that this league will create for players to showcase their talent and make their dreams come true.

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