It’s a tough time to be a football fan. There is only one real football game left until June… and it’s a week away. Sure you could get your fix by watching the Pro Bowl but after you factor out the players on the Super Bowl teams and those too “injured” to play you pretty much get to watch the 4th best player at each position half ass it and try not to get hurt. The jerseys this year were enough to make me want to change the channel. I suppose you could try going outside for a break but if the wind doesn’t blow you to Climax (only Saskatchewan people will get the non-dirty interpretation of that before the other one) then the cold will turn whatever is left of your will power into popsicles.
CFL news has been pretty sparse and will likely stay that way until Free Agency opens on Feb 15th. So since there is nothing better to do and we all desperately need a football fix (except maybe longtime friend of the blog Gov. He’s Seahawks fan and has a chance at seeing his team win the Grey Cup and Super Bowl in the same year… his poor liver) here are some random thoughts on free agency:
- Still nothing new on the Craig Butler front. He will test free agency to see what his value is. I still think we will have a shot but we will have to play the “better team” card over other teams like Ottawa or Winnipeg or Edmonton who will play the sacks full of money card. I also wonder if Ed Hervey has a press released all ready to go at 12:01. If Butler wants money I seem him landing in Ottawa. If he wants a bit less money but a chance at another cup he’ll be back. Far from a sure thing.
- Also nothing new with Sheets or Dressler. My gut says Sheets will be back and Dressler may be gone until September. But still a chance neither catch on down south.
- Other than trying to sign our own guys back, don’t expect the Riders to do anything in free agency… we simply don’t have the budget. New blood will have to come from recruiting and drafting this year.
- Offensively the big free agent fish is Zach Collaros (though only one team really needs him).Would love if he gave Winnipeg the finger and re-signed back in Toronto.
- Not much hitting the market for OL but there will two huge names in Dmitri Tsoumpas and Josh Bourke. Both have been at times the best at their positions and under normal circumstances it would be ludicrous to see them hit the open market. But both are coming off injury plagued seasons and their teams managed to survive large parts of the season without them. Also factor in the massive salary both come with. Ed Hervey in particular would be idiotic not to empty his bank account for one of these. In fact he may already have a press release ready to go for 12:01… what’s that? I used that joke already? Oh well, it’s the offseason and its cold, lay off me.
- A lot a quality defensive names will be up for grabs with the likes of Josh Bell, Jamal Johnson, Torrey Davis, Kerron Williams, Shea Emry and Henoc Muamba all slated to be taking offers.
- Ted Laurent is another interesting name. It was pretty much a forgone gone conclusion a while back that he was NFL bound but unless they have been keeping it super-secret there just hasn’t been much (if any) interest from down south. As a Canadian he instantly becomes a hotly coveted commodity.
- Anyone thinking the Riders will target him are just plain wrong. A) He will be too expensive and B) if we wanted a stud Canadian at DT we just would have kept Shologan. We are going import there, no ifs ands or buts.
- As I do every year, I am offering up my services to any sports network looking for someone to host CFL Free Agent Frenzy (I’m looking at you TSN). I know the Olympics are on but I can seamlessly segue to cross country skiing or speed skating highlights throughout the broadcast. I also hear there might be a Jamaican bobsled team and man oh man do I have some great material for that.
- Am I the only one hoping that while covering Olympic figure skating that Rod Black defects to the Soviet Union and never returns?