Jesse's versatility will help in NFL bid

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

Jesse Lumsden will get a second chance to make a lasting impression in the National Football League.

The Washington Redskins have signed the burly Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back to a two-year contract.

While details have not been released, it's believed the 23-year-old Burlington native received a minor signing bonus of some $10,000 US.

Last year, he signed a free-agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, who gave him a $6,000 signing bonus. But he injured a knee and hip early in training camp and did not play in any pre-season games.

In seven games with the Tiger-Cats, Lumsden had 60 carries for 307 yards and 11 catches for 153 yards. He also had 11 kickoff returns for 259 yards.

Because of his speed, size and the fact there now is game film of him at the professional level, the 6-foot-2 1/2, 225-pound back attracted interest from five NFL teams.

Hamilton had been talking to Lumsden about extending his deal for some time, but also knew he wanted to canvas the NFL market again.

"It was a dream of his," Tiger-Cats general manager Rob Katz said yesterday.

"He wanted to give it one more shot. Being totally upfront with us, we were able to prepare. His performance (last year) bode well for him to see a lot of playing time (as Hamilton's feature running back).

"We're confident we have the depth."

While the Redskins are stacked at running back, led by Clinton Portis, Lumsden may have a shot to apprentice behind ex-CFLer Mike Sellers, who plays some fullback and also on special teams.

Hamilton has lost four players to the NFL this year: Offensive lineman Jonta Woodard also to the Redskins, wide receiver/ kick returner Kahlil Hill to the Jacksonville Jaguars and wide receiver Taylor Stubblefield to the St. Louis Rams.


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