The Denver Broncos ventured north of the border to uncover its newest talent, signing former Canadian Football League defensive end Jonathan Kongbo to a reserve/futures contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Kongbo, 25, was a two-time Grey Cup champion — the CFL equivalent of the Super Bowl — with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019 and 2021. He posted 28 tackles and four sacks across 26 career appearances.
Prior to his most recent championship, in January 2020, Kongbo inked a futures deal with the San Francisco 49ers, who waived him that September.
The Congo native attended high school in Canada but played collegiately at Tennessee, where he notched 20 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, and one touchdown over 23 games. His 2018 senior campaign was cut short by a devastating right knee injury; tears in both his ACL and MCL. The injury forced Kongbo to forgo the following year's NFL draft and instead enter the CFL, becoming Winnipeg's first-round pick (No. 5 overall).
Standing 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, with 34 3/8-inch arms and an 81-inch wingspan, Kongbo is as raw a developmental project as they come but boasts the foundational tools coveted at football's highest level.
"I feel my strong point is athleticism, my get-off, my ability to move in open space, fluid hips," he told 49ers beat reporter Cam Inman in 2020.
Kongbo, who will be added to the 90-man offseason roster, is the eighth player to land a futures contract from the Broncos. Earlier this week, the team also signed running back Damarea Crockett, wide receiver Travis Fulgham, tight end Shaun Beyer, offensive tackle Drew Himmelman, guard Zack Johnson, defensive end Marquiss Spencer, and linebacker Barrington Wade.
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