Which ex-Jets will be playing in the CFL this year?

We've been keeping you up to date with how ex-Jets have been faring in the UFL during the offseason, and whether any players could be targets for NFL teams. Preseason is now also underway in Canada and each team has played at least one game, so let's also see which former Jets have ended up in the CFL.

New to the league

Interestingly, there seems to be a huge reduction in the number of ex-Jets participating in this league in 2024, despite the fact that the merger of the USFL and XFL gave an opportunity for teams to add talent, which could have included plenty of ex-Jets. Several long-term contributors evidently retired at the end of the 2023 season.

Anyway, there are a few interesting ex-Jets players who are playing in Canada for the first time. Quarterback James Morgan has joined Montreal, although he only threw one pass - an incompletion - in the first preseason game.

Recent Jets undrafted rookies DQ Thomas, Brendon White and Muddy Waters will be looking for a role on defense with Hamilton, Edmonton and Toronto respectively.

Linebacker Hamilcar Rashed and offensive tackle Eric Smith have both actually seen action with the Jets in recent seasons but both are now in Calgary. Smith has had three separate stints with the Jets.

Finally, quarterback Chris Streveler isn't new to the CFL, having been a Grey Cup hero back in 2019. However, he's making his return to Canada this year. Streveler, who rushed for 22 touchdowns and passed for 19 more in his two years in Canada, completed 7-of-8 passes for 65 yards and rushed for another 25 in the first preseason game.

Elite wide receivers

Once again, Tim White and Keon Hatcher were among the league leaders in 2023 as they each posted a thousand-yard season for the second year in a row. White, who led the CFL in receptions in 2022, led the league in yards last year. Hatcher was second in yards and fourth in receptions with the BC Lions. They are both entering their fourth CFL season.

White caught four passes for 52 yards in the most recent preseason game for Hamilton.

Special teamers

Two former Jets kickers have jobs as Sergio Castillo kicks for Winnipeg and Kaare Vedvik kicks for Hamilton. Castillo also punts, whereas Vedvik only punts. They've obviously given up on him as a kicker as he enters his fourth CFL season. In 2023, Castillo, who is entering his 7th CFL season, made over 90 percent of his field goals for the second time in his career. He made two of two including a 53-yarder in the first preseason game.

Wide receiver Mario Alford only has eight career catches but he's a formidable kick returner who averaged over 25 yards and scored twice in 2022. His numbers were down a little last year but he returns to Saskatchewan for his fourth season.

Pass rushing prowess

Three ex-Jets have been productive pass rushers over the years, highlighted by former Jets third round pick Lorenzo Mauldin, who enters his fifth year in Ottawa. He exploded for a league-leading 17 in 2022 and won the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.

Toronto's Jake Ceresna has also been an impact player as he enters his sixth CFL season. He had 10 sacks in 2022 and 12 last season, which was tied for the league lead.

In Calgary, ex-Jets fullback Julian Howsare is an edge rusher these days and he had six sacks last season, which was his fifth in the CFL.

Dominance at linebacker

Finally, linebacker Micah Awe is entering his 7th year after having briefly been a Jet back in 2018. The 30-year old had a breakout year last season as he racked up a league-high 140 tackles and a career-high three interceptions.

We'll keep you up to date with anything significant that happens in this league.