As promised here’s a look at the Riders poised to hit free agency next Monday
Marcus Adams – Chunky had a pretty solid season last year and short of a major trade for an elite DT there’s not a lot in terms of an immediate upgrade out there. Odds are good Chunky returns.
Stevie Baggs – Basically, take what happened with Mo Lloyd last year and replace Lloyd’s name with Baggs. The Riders will offer a decent contract but if someone else backs up a truck load of money, Baggs will be gone.
Wes Cates - Blocks well, catches well… does everything well but, you know… run. He’ll be brought back and be given a chance to prove that last season was just a small blip on the radar. Besides, it’s not like we have any better options at this point.
Eddie Davis – At this point in his career, Davis’ options are play here or retire. I’d say odds are about 50/50 either way.
Stu Foord – Not sure what Foord’s status is now that Tillman and his “sign every Regina player you can” philosophy have left town. I’m guessing Foord will be brought back though.
Jocelyn Frenette – The most consistent long snapper in the league. Age is the only working against him at this point. I think Frenette played well enough last season to warrant another year.
Steven Jyles – Should be able to garner interest from either Winnipeg or Toronto if he wants to test free agency but it sounds like the Riders are interested in keeping him. Odds are 50/50 I would say, though I’m leaning towards him staying here as Miller seems high on him.
Tad Kornegay – Biggest question mark so far as I have heard nothing about him. Proved he can be an impact player when given the chance. It would make sense for him to stay in the Etcheverry system that made him an all-star but we are not the only team using a converted DB at linebacker so there could be interest from others (especially given his versatility).
Marc Parenteau – I honestly don’t think we re-sign Parenteau. I like him, he’s a decent player, he’s hilarious, but we have a log jam of Canadian OL who are both younger and cheaper. Parenteau will be the odd man out but will definitely catch on elsewhere, likely out East.
James Patrick – Finally developed into the impact player we needed him to be late in the season. Problem is that will attract attention from other teams. Haven’t had an impact safety in ages so I can’t see them letting Patrick slip away.
Chris Szarka – Proved last year that if he avoids run ins with power tools he can still score on a regular basis. There will either be a press conference announcing his re-signing or his retirement. Given how many TDs he put up last year I would guess it’ll be a re-signing.
Gerran Walker – Hard to say. Always seems to play just well enough to stick around. He’s had some flashes of greatness but nowhere near consistent enough that he can’t be replaced. While I’m guessing he’ll be brought back to camp, he can hardly be considered a lock to make the team and will be pushed hard by our new recruits.
Cliff Washburn – Doubt we re-sign him, not that he’ll be missed since I’m sure most of you probably weren’t even aware he was on our team.
Other notable free agents…
Kerry Watkins – The best offensive player on the market. Has managed to go over 1000 yds in each of the last 5 season despite having to share receptions with Cahoon and Richardson. Odds are good Watkins winds up on a new team. Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg should be the most interested.
Ricky Foley – Assuming he doesn’t catch on with the NFL he’ll likely re-sign in BC though I’m sure a truckload of money could change his mind.
Keron Williams – 24 sacks in the past 3 seasons, one of the few dominant DTs in the CFL. He should generate a ton of interest. Would love to see the Riders take a shot at him but not counting on it. Same as Foley, he’ll likely stick with the Als unless someone offers big $.
Charleston Hughes – Another DL that should attract some attention though he hasn’t show the consistency of Foley or Williams.
Byron Parker – The top DB on the market. Depending on who ends up coaching the Argos he may opt to head back to TO.
Jason Jimenez – Jimenez’ unexpected entry to the free agent market is well timed. Other than Parenteau, the market is extremely thin in terms of OL, especially at tackle. If Toronto is smart (and they definitely aren’t) they should cut Rob Murphy (who is the highest paid OL in the league despite playing like crap) and replace him with Jimenez.James Johnson – The question becomes, is someone desperate enough to take a chance on JJ. I’d say that narrows his options down to the Argos and McDonalds… though odds are he’d just get caught looking at the wrong deep fryer and end up getting burned.