I’m sure it will surprise none of you to know that I was a very happy man yesterday when I found out that Sean Lucas had retired. Alleluia!! I had been hoping and praying that we would cut his overpaid and underperforming ass but really expected us to have to endure him for another season. For him to walk away of his own choosing is a better situation than I think anyone could have hoped for. I will admit though I’m still very surprised he retired. Cripes the guy isn’t even 30. Word is he is pursuing business interests in wine.
My memories of Sean Lucas will always be fairly bi-polar. On one end I will remember the good: his play down the stretch in ’07 was huge, in 2008 he was legitimately the most underappreciated LB in the league (there was a reason that out of him Anton McKenzie and Mo Lloyd he was out main priority for retention) and in 2009 he was named an all-star and deservedly so.
Unfortunately I will also remember the bad… which covers most of the last 2 seasons. I’m not sure if it was injuries, something mental, a hangover from the Grey Cup debacle, or just hitting the wall in terms of a football career but Lucas tanked big time in 2010. He went from the most underrated LB to the most overrated in the blink of an eye. He was inexplicably rewarded for this craptastic performance with a contract extension and a hefty 6 figure contract. I don’t fault Lucas for this since I don’t blame him for accepting this ridiculously stupid offer (the person who made the offer is the guilty party there). But 2011 was another bad year, he got benched… and those times when he was on the field, he was so far behind the guy he was covering that he might as well have been on the bench.
Sean Lucas’s career as a Rider was truly the best of times and the worst of times. I respect what he did for this team but I am extremely happy to see him go. I may have done a celebratory jig.
Now all I need is Dinwiddie to depart and my offseason will be complete… fingers crossed.
Crazy to think that if Freeman jumps to the NFL we will have an entirely new LB group next season. That said since Freeman was the only useful LB out of the trio last year, maybe that’s not a bad thing.
In other Rider news we re-signed Brent Hawkins. I’m a bit leery on this one but I think this time around we might be doing this right. Last year we assumed Hawkins would be a starting DE and came up with absolutely no back-up plan (other than Montez freakin’ Murphy!)… which for a guy whose shoulders are on par with Matt Dominguez’s needs is a terrible plan. This year (I hope) we aren’t assuming he will play and if he does it’s a bonus… a big bonus. The guy can be an impact player when healthy but that’s kinda like saying Michael Jackson was great with kids when he wasn’t inappropriately touching them. I don’t mind the idea of brining him into to camp and if he can make it then great. But let me go on record as saying I don’t see Hawkins playing more than 8 games this season.
We also cut John Eubanks, Terrence Nunn and Remond Willis. Eubanks was awful, Willis was mediocre a best (shocking that a Bomber cast off didn’t turn into an all-star) and Nunn well the guy was an epic disappointment. He couldn’t catch, he tripped over his feet and he couldn’t run the right routes… other than that though he was pretty good. No worries though there will soon be a new crop of veteran free agents to overspend on and other teams cuts to sign up to fill this void… don’t worry folks Taman has a plan.
Jerell Freeman – Worked out with Indianapolis
Justin Hickman – Worked out with Indianapolis
Jovan Olafioye – Workouts with Washington, New Orleans and Cincinnati. That marks 12 teams this guy has tried out for. I wonder if he will complete the circuit. Maybe he is just in it for the frequent flyer miles
Jovon Johnson – Worked out with Cincinnati
CFL Ins and Outs
In: LB Simoni Lawrence, WR Derrick Townsel (free agent signing)
Out: OL Patrick Kabongo, WR Chris Bauman, DB Wopamo Osaisai, WR Jason Barnes (released)
In: WR Julian Feoli-Guidino (2011 Draft Pick Signing), WR Andrew Strickland (free agent signing)