Jalen Saunders

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Jalen Saunders
Free agent
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1992-09-30) September 30, 1992 (age 26)
Stockton, California
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school:Pleasant Grove
(Elk Grove, California)
College:Fresno State/Oklahoma
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 4 / Pick: 104
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Second team All-Big 12 (2013)
  • First team All-WAC (2011)
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:7
Return yards:245
Total touchdowns:0
Player stats at NFL.com
Career CFL statistics
Receiving yards:1,909
Receiving touchdowns:6
Player stats at CFL.ca

Jalen Saunders (born September 30, 1992) is a Canadian football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was most recently a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Saunders has also been a member of the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears. He played college football at Oklahoma.

High school[edit]

Saunders attended Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. He averaged nearly 19 yards per catch and scored 11 receiving touchdowns on 46 receptions as a senior with 871 yards receiving in 10 games. He also rushed for 410 yards and averaged eight yards per carry and scored six touchdowns.

He was also an outstanding sprinter, who clocked a 10.54 time in the 100 meters and a 21.41 in the 200 meters as a junior.[1]

He was considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.[2]

College career[edit]

Saunders accepted a scholarship from Fresno State. As a freshman, he was third on the team in receptions with 27 for 441 yards and three touchdowns, and also had 14 carries for 109 yards on sweeps and reverses. In 2011, he was named first team All-WAC after he had 1,065 yards on the year on 50 receptions, the ninth 1,000-yard receiving season in Fresno State history. He led the WAC with 12 touchdown catches, which tied for the third-most in program history.

On May 8, 2012, he announced he was transferring to the University of Oklahoma, citing a change in offensive philosophy at Fresno State as the reason for his transfer.[3] After originally being told he'd have to sit one year, he was cleared by the NCAA to play in 2012.[4]

In his premier season with Sooners, Saunders played in nine games with eight starts. Despite sitting out the first four games due to transferring, he totaled 62 receptions for 829 yards and three touchdowns. He tied a school record with 15 catches for 181 yards and set a school record with eight catches in the first quarter vs. Notre Dame (10/27). In 2013, he started all 13 games and was named second-team All-Big 12. He recorded 61 receptions for 729 yards and eight touchdowns, highlighted by a winning performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, in which he recorded 5 receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Professional career[edit]

New York Jets[edit]

He was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.[5] In 3 games with the Jets, Saunders returned 6 punts for 26 return yards. He was released by the Jets on September 29, 2014.[6]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

Saunders was signed to the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad on October 1, 2014.[7]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

He was signed to the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad on November 4, 2014.

New Orleans Saints[edit]

The New Orleans Saints signed Saunders to their 53-man roster on November 19, 2014, just one day after placing fellow rookie Brandin Cooks on injured reserve.

New England Patriots[edit]

On September 1, 2015, the Saints traded Saunders to the New England Patriots for a conditional draft pick. He was released on September 5, 2015.[8]

Chicago Bears[edit]

He was signed to the Chicago Bears' practice squad on September 7, 2015. Saunders was not offered a futures contract by the Bears after the 2015 NFL season.

Saunders was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 NFL season for violating the substance abuse policy.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats[edit]

During April 2017, Saunders participated in The Spring League, a startup developmental league who operates as a showcase for NFL and CFL scouts. Saunders was one of several Spring League players who signed with professional teams later in the year; in Saunders' case he signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Despite being released after the preseason, Saunders was assigned to the Hamilton practice roster. After two weeks, Saunders was promoted to the active roster to take the place of star receiver Terrence Toliver, who suffered a torn ACL during Hamilton's opening game of the 2017 season. During his CFL debut on July 8, Saunders recorded 6 catches for 78 yards, making him the most productive receiver for the Ticats. Saunders also had one rush for a single yard in a losing effort against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Saunders topped his performance the following week, again serving as Hamilton's most productive receiver by catching 5 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the British Columbia Lions.[9] In later weeks, Saunders was also used as a return specialist. During the 16 games he played in, Sanders made 76 catches for 1,170 yards and 4 touchdowns. The following year, Saunders was on pace for an outstanding year, but a season ending injury capped his 2018 production at 739 yards and 2 touchdowns on 45 catches during 9 games played. On December 21, 2018 Saunders and the Ti-Cats agreed to a contract extension, preventing him from becoming a free agent two months later.[10] On May 16, 2019, just prior to training camp for the 2019 season, Saunders was released by the Tiger-Cats.[11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Jalen Saunders - Yahoo Sports
  3. ^ Fresno State's Saunders Transferring To Oklahoma
  4. ^ OU's Saunders Cleared To Play in 2012
  5. ^ New York Jets draft speedy receiver Jalen Saunders
  6. ^ Cosentino, Dom (September 29, 2014). "Jets cut rookie Jalen Saunders, sign WR T.J. Graham". NJ.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  7. ^ Urban, Darren (October 1, 2014). "Bishop brought back to roster". Arizona Cardinals. Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  8. ^ "Patriots release 11 players; Place Brandon LaFell on PUP". Patriots.com. September 5, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "CFL Fantasy: Lulay with a shocking performance - Article - TSN". TSN. 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  10. ^ "Ticats, Saunders agree to contract extension". CFL.ca. 2018-12-21. Retrieved 2019-05-16.
  11. ^ "Ticats release receiver Jalen Saunders". CFL.ca. 2019-05-15. Retrieved 2019-05-16.

External links[edit]