Kevin Francis
No. 8     Ottawa Redblacks
Francis with the Lions in 2022
Born: (1993-06-05) June 5, 1993 (age 30)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Career information
CFL statusNational
Height6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Weight239 lb (108 kg)
CollegeNorth Carolina A&T
High schoolJames Madison (Brooklyn, NY)
CFL draft2016, Round: Supplemental
Drafted bySaskatchewan Roughriders
Career history
As player
20162018Saskatchewan Roughriders
2019Ottawa Redblacks
2020BC Lions*
2021Saskatchewan Roughriders
2022BC Lions
2023Edmonton Elks*
2023–presentOttawa Redblacks
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career stats

Kevin Francis (born June 5, 1993) is a Canadian professional football linebacker for the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played as a tight end during his college football career with the North Carolina A&T Aggies.[1] Francis has also been a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, BC Lions, and Edmonton Elks.

Professional career

Saskatchewan Roughriders (first stint)

After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Francis declared eligible for the 2016 CFL Supplemental Draft after informing the league that he was born in Toronto, Ontario.[2] He was drafted by the Roughriders on May 25, 2016, who forfeited a third round selection in the 2017 CFL Draft to acquire his rights. Upon entering 2016 training camp, Francis switched to the defensive side of the ball after previously playing on offence in college. He made his CFL debut on June 30, 2016, against the Toronto Argonauts, registering his first defensive tackle. He made his first career start at linebacker on October 22, 2016, against the Montreal Alouettes.[1] Francis finished his rookie season having played in all 18 regular season games where he recorded 12 defensive tackles, 13 special teams tackles, and one forced fumble.

In 2017, Francis played in 15 regular season games where he had three defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, and one forced fumble. He suffered a shoulder injury in October and was on the injured list for the last three regular season games and both post-season games.[3][4] To begin the 2018 season, he was placed on the injured list as he rehabbed his injury from 2017.[3] He then played in the remaining 12 games of the regular season where he had six special teams tackles. He also made his post-season debut where he played in the West Final loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He became a free agent in 2019.

Ottawa Redblacks

On February 14, 2019, Francis signed with the Ottawa Redblacks to a one-year contract.[5] He played in just seven regular season games, but recorded eight special teams tackles.

BC Lions (first stint)

Francis again entered free agency and signed a one-year deal with the BC Lions on February 11, 2020.[6] However, the 2020 CFL season was cancelled and Francis never played for the Lions.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (second stint)

On February 12, 2021, it was announced that Francis had re-signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.[7]

BC Lions (second stint)

Francis signed again with the BC Lions on February 9, 2022.[8] Francis played in all 18 regular season games for the Lions in 2022, contributing mostly on special teams where he had 22 tackles (the most in the league).[9]

Edmonton Elks

Francis joined the Edmonton Elks as a free agent on February 14, 2023.[10] The contract was reportedly a one-year contract worth $122,000 in hard money and included a $25,000 signing bonus. On March 15, 2023, Francis took to social media to voice his displeasure with the terms of the contract, and requested to be traded or released from the Edmonton Elks just one month after signing with the team.[11] Head coach Chris Jones stated in an interview that he was hopeful the situation could be resolved and Francis would be a valuable member of the team in the coming season.[12] On May 14, 2023, Francis was placed on the team's suspended list after failing to report to training camp.[13]

Ottawa Redblacks

On July 4, 2023, Francis was traded to the Ottawa Redblacks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 CFL Draft.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Kevin Francis embraces all roles in rookie season with Saskatchewan Roughriders". Regina Leader-Post. October 24, 2016.
  2. ^ "Riders add Kevin Francis in CFL Supplemental Draft". Canadian Football League. May 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Notebook: Kevin Francis retu". Canadian Football League. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "Transactions – Football player trades and signings". Canadian Football League. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "Redblacks sign Kevin Francis". Ottawa Redblacks. February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Lions add free agent linebacker Kevin Francis". BC Lions. February 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "Riders sign Canadian LB Kevin Francis". Canadian Football League. February 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Lions sign national LB Kevin Francis". Canadian Football League. February 9, 2022.
  9. ^ "CFLPA on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "Elks ink linebacker Kevin Francis". February 14, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  11. ^ 3Down Staff (March 16, 2023). "Canadian LB Kevin Francis says he's requested a release or trade from Edmonton Elks". 3DownNation. Retrieved March 27, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Abbott, J. C. (March 25, 2023). "Chris Jones expects LB Kevin Francis to be with Elks in 2023 despite request for trade or release". 3DownNation. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  13. ^ 3Down Staff (May 14, 2023). "Edmonton Elks place Canadian LB Kevin Francis on suspended list". 3DownNation. Retrieved May 16, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ 3Down Staff (July 4, 2023). "Edmonton Elks trade disgruntled LB Kevin Francis to Ottawa Redblacks". 3DownNation. Retrieved July 4, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)