After an extended post-Christmas lull, things are finally starting to get rolling across the league. Here’s some quasi-coherent thoughts on what’s been going on.
- Word is Andy Fantuz has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, though and official announcement won’t come until the Steelers season is over. Though I’m happy for Andy as a person, all I have to say is that if turns out to be true BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Gene Makowksy has signed on for his 17th season with the Roughriders. Assuming he can last 5 games (i.e. not pull a Wayne Smith) he will surpass Roger Aldag’s record for games played as a Rider which is an amazing feat. It’s crazy to think that since he was drafted by the Riders the man has blocked for the likes of Steve Sarkisian, Reggie Slack, Nealon Green, Kevin Glenn, Rocky Butler, Henry Burris, Marcus Crandell, Kerry Joseph, Michael Bishop, Steven Jyles and Darian Durant.
- DB Chris McKenzie has also re-signed with the team. I’m very happy about this. Though, McKenzie had a decent season last year (nothing spectacular) he’s young and loaded with potential. It’s hard to look good when you have to replace Eddie Davis. HB is a tough spot to play in the CFL and McKenzie held his own in his first full season as a starter and should get better and better with experience. Look no further than James Patrick as a first year starting DB in 2009 vs. Patrick with a year’s experience in 2010 for how much difference experience can make in the secondary.
- Ben Cahoon is expected to retire. We were all wondering how long Cahoon would keep playing… turns out he was just hanging on until he had a Grey Cup ring for each of his wives.
- Calgary didn’t want Mike Labinjo so they traded him to Montreal. After failing his physical (surprise, surprise) Montreal determined that they didn’t want him either and shipped him back to Calgary. While Hufnagel has stated that they will have to see what they do with Labinjo now, that’s pretty much just a polite way of saying “Though I haven’t cut him today, I will be in the near future.”
- Tim Burke was announced as the new DC in Winnipeg after declining to re-sign with Montreal. I can only assume that Burke was on drugs when he made this decision or LaPolice held a gun to his head because no one willingly chooses Winnipeg for anything when alternative options (now matter how unappealing) are available… just ask the NHL.
- The CFL unveiled its Expansion Draft format for when Ottawa joins the league in 2013. The biggest difference from the last expansion draft is that teams can only protect one QB not 2. While most fans are lamenting the fact that this could lead to their team losing a quality QB, I am overjoyed since any draft format that could lead to the departure of Ryan Dinwiddie is A OK in my books.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: WR Adarius Bowman (free agent signing)
Out: LB Mark Restelli (signed with Miami Dolphins)
First Kerry Joseph and Jason Armstead, now Bowman. Since becoming Edmonton’s GM, it’s certainly been interesting to watch Tillman bring back guys he got rid of while he was our GM.
In: WR SJ Green (contract extension)
Out: OL Paul Lambert (released)
Green apparently turned down some NFL offers and signing bonuses to lock in for 3 years with Montreal similar to what Jamel Richardson did 2 years ago. Good move by the Als… though the downside will be Duane Forde continuing to try and force bad nicknames for Green on us during broadcasts.
In: FB Rob Cote (contract extension)
Out: DB Brandon Browner (signed with Seattle Seahawks), DL Tom Johnson (signed with New Orleans Saints)Johnson reportedly signed a 3 year deal worth $1.8 million which is pretty telling about how serious the Saints are about Johnson. As for Browner, as much as I hate him and think he’s an overrated DB, I always thought that given his size, speed and solid play on special teams at some point he would get a shot in the NFL. Personally I’m just glad that we will get a reprieve from Browner though I do feel for avid Seahawks fan and regular reader Gov… sorry about that. Also, sorry about that whole “being a Seahawks fan” thing as well.