The Orlando Predators have had a successful season, and it’s partially due to rookie wide receiver Khalil Paden, out of Northern Arizona by way of San Jose State.
During the season, the 24-year-old Paden ranked second on the Predators in receptions (81), receiving yards (1,402), and touchdown receptions (23.) Yesterday, two days after Orlando eliminated the Pittsburgh Power from the playoffs, Paden was placed on the “Other League Exempt” list.
Earlier in the day, Paden was signed by the Canadian Football League’s newest team, the Ottawa RedBlacks. This is the second CFL team to sign Paden to a contract, as last season, the Calgary Stampeders inked him to a deal which never materialized.
Hopping from league to league has become a habit for Paden, who also spent time as a member of the defunct United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions in that league’s 2012 season, which was abandoned in mid-October after only being partially completed.
In his lone UFL season, Paden caught seven passes for 147 yards and no touchdowns.
This is a great move by the expansion RedBlacks, who enter their bye week at 1-4, sitting in a three-way tie for last place in the CFL’s East Division. Paden’s arrival strengthens a struggling receiving corps.
With five games completed, Marcus Henry (299 yards and one touchdown) leads the RedBlacks in receiving, while Kierrie Johnson (214 yards and no touchdowns) is second in that category. Johnson hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since the 2012 season, when he was on the B.C. Lions.
Paden enters the fold at the best possible time for Ottawa. With him lining up, expect the RedBlacks’ receiving yards to rise quickly.
For those who haven’t seen Paden play, here is a highlight reel of him in action as a member of the Mountain Lions:
Here’s one of him doing 1-on-1 drills vs. defensive backs while in college at Northern Arizona:
(Go ahead and mute the background music on those videos.) Good luck to Paden in Canada.