The Toronto Argonauts have added another young player to their defense with NFL experience, signing 6’3”, 258lb DE Jachai Polite.
Polite was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, but was released prior to the start of the season.
The Seattle Seahawks picked him up two days later, but released him a few weeks after that.
The LA Rams then took a chance on him and things seemed to click. Polite saw action in 8 regular season games in 2020, generating a sack, 4 pressures, and 3 hurries as a pass rusher. Polite was released by the team on January 12, 2021, just a few days prior to their Divisional playoff game against Green Bay. The timing of the move was unusual given the practice squad flexibility teams had that season.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the 23-year-old so far in his young career. In his draft year, Polite was projected as a 1st round pick, but a rough NFL Combine derailed the momentum he’d gathered during his outstanding junior season at Florida. Known as an undersized speed rusher, Polite ran a disappointing 4.84 40-yard dash, following it up with a 5.04 performance at Florida’s pro day. The interview process apparently didn’t go smoothly for the young Gator either.
The Jets felt they were getting a bargain with him in the 3rd round, but there were issues once they got him in the building. According to Pro Football Talk, Polite was fined $100,000 for “tardiness and other issues”, leading to his release.
As with a number of other Toronto signings over the past few years, if Jachai Polite arrives in great shape, ready to work, he has the talent to succeed in the CFL – a league perfectly suited to his strengths and skillset. But if he approaches this opportunity the same way he did his NFL opportunities, his stay north of the border will be short-lived.
In a corresponding move, the Argonauts have released DE Travis Feeney. It would be surprising if Feeney doesn’t receive a call from Edmonton today.