Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Expansion Draft: BC Lions

Next up in my team by team expansion draft analysis is the BC Lions. Now BC is in somewhat unique situation. While most teams have huge lists of potential free agents (mainly to help protect against the expansion draft), BC has just five… mainly because they gave contract extensions to a huge chunk of their team last year. Most of those where the kind of deals where the team give a higher signing bonus (which is taxed lower) to the player in exchange for a lower base salary (which is taxed higher). End result is more money in the player’s pocket and less of a cap hit. Buono is the master of these. Football accounting lesson aside, the point is BC offers a bigger selection to Ottawa than most teams due to their heavy use of cap friendly extensions and is lucky that Ottawa can only take one import.

On with the analysis…

Round 1: Imports
Players likely to be protected: Travis Lulay, Ryan Phillips, Korey Banks, Cord Parks, Adam Bighill, Solomon Elimimian, Jovan Olafioye, Eric Taylor, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Khreen Smith, Stefan Logan

-       Nick Moore and Keron Williams would normally be on the protected list but are potential FAs
-       Ben Archibald considered retirement last offseason so odds are he may make it official this time.

Who Will Ottawa Take?
BC employs a ton of savvy vets on defense, so many that they can’t protect them all. For a new team looking to establish themselves this is a good chance for the REDBLACKS to select someone to help stabilize a new defense. Based available will be Anton McKenzie, Lin-J Shell or Dante Marsh. I would opt for Shell if it were me but any would be a decent option.

Round 2: Canadians
Players likely to be protected: Andrew Harris, Shawn Gore, Matt Norman, Jabar Westerman, SJ Haidara, Kirby Fabien

-       Dean Valli has already said he would rather retire than go to Ottawa
-       BC has a tough decision with their 6th protection. Kirby Fabien is a young promising OL but coming off a serious knee injury. McCallum turns 75 this year but is all they have at kicker and is still getting it done at a high level. It’s a risk to leave either unprotected but Buono will play it safe with his young OL and risk Ottawa wanting a senior citizen no-chinned kicker.

Who Will Ottawa Take?
Would be tempting to give McCallum a 2nd stint in Ottawa as a solid kicker who can do both jobs is valuable but I think age will be the deciding factor in opting for other options. Couple directions they could here. Market for OL is thin so they may complete the circle and bring Kabongo back to Ottawa (who first drafted him) but if it were me I would take someone with a higher ceiling (not glorified oversized pylon). A receiver like Marco Ianuzzi or a defender like Jason Aragki would be better choices in my opinion. I’d take Ianuzzi

Round 3: Canadians
Players likely to be protected: Paul McCallum, Rolly Lumbala, Jason Aragki, JR LaRose, Patrick Kabongo, Matt Albright

Who Will Ottawa Take?
Scraping the bottom of the barrel here for Ottawa but Jermaine Reid would be a decent value pick here. Veteran DL who can play inside.

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