CFL Pass

One penalty too many: Brandon McDonald released

After taking a horrible penalty against the Toronto Argonauts that quite possibly cost the RedBlacks the game, Brandon McDonald is left looking for another gig.

There’s no question that McDonald is a great defensive back, as he led the RedBlacks with 33 tackles and was tied for second on the team with two interceptions. However, penalties were the big issue this season with the 30-year-old who is unfortunately “celebrating” his birthday today.

The illegal contact and pass interference calls are understandable with defensive backs this season as players get used to the new rules, but McDonald’s racked up two unnecessary roughness and two objectionable conduct calls – very preventable penalties. Most recently, he took the trash talk too far during Sunday’s game, getting involved with Toronto’s Vidal Hazelton and earning himself a flag that extended the Argonaut drive and led to the game-tying touchdown.

This tells me the culture in the Ottawa RedBlacks locker room is changing. After a two-win expansion season with a team that had very limited depth, penalties had to be tolerated because they were left with no other choice. There were no other players to step in. This year, the RedBlacks are very much “in it” and after a multitude of moves in the offseason to improve the team’s depth, selfish play will not be tolerated in Ottawa. This is a team that could bring playoff football to the nation’s capital for the first time since 1994. Winning is an attitude and McDonald simply wasn’t a team player this season despite being given multiple chances.

– written by Travis Currah