Despite the fact that I have yet to be asked to host an all day special on TSN, CFL Free Agency will open tomorrow at 11am Saskatchewan time. While coverage will probably be lacking due to the Olympics, I maintain that we should care a lot more about CFL Free Agency than a made up event like team figure skating.
There are a number of big names still out there both for the Riders and other teams so here are my meandering thoughts on what will go down tomorrow:
- Craig Butler will be going to the highest bidder, and spoiler alert: that won’t be use. Expect BC, Edmonton and Ottawa to make big pushes for him. With BC a likely landing spot (we should all collectively spit on the ground at this point). Its not that we don’t want Butler back, its that we can’t/won’t give him a blank cheque where others will. Our “fair” offer likely won’t be good enough.
- Chris Milo is the other name to watch. Taman said today that its not likely that we get both him and Butler back, meaning we might have the budget for one of them, most likely Milo. My gut still says either Ottawa or Montreal use the french connection to swoop him but he still might return here. Been saying for a while that if Milo goes, look for the recently released Luca Congi to make a return to green.
- One name that I am getting increasingly concerned about is Jermaine McElveen. Assumed he would be signed right away after Shologan left. But unless we have a lot of faith in practice roster prospect Richard Sumlin (who is also unsigned as this point) or a stunning new recruit we currently have a big hole that I would love McElveen to fill (pause for immature chuckling at wording of previous statement)
- Chris Garrett was released today and while nothing is for sure yet that move tells me that we are very confident that Kory Sheets will re-sign. There is no way we go into camp without a vet RB so either Sheets will be back shortly (probable) or we have our eyes on an FA RB (e.g. Will Ford, Chad Simpson) (less likely)
- Been saying all along, that other re-signing our own guys and maybe adding a depth guy or two (ala Jade Etienne), I doubt we are very active tomorrow.
- Would love to see Newman and Schmitt re-sign. Anyone expecting Alex Hall back here is off in lala land.
- Be interesting to watch the kicking position play out. Currently us, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa have no kicker. BC has a senior citizen Edmonton and Winnipeg has junk. With Milo, Congi, Whyte and Waters in play, could be a lot of kicker shuffling going on.
- Lots of big name defenders hitting the market with Kerron Williams, Torrey Davis, Ted Laurent, Damaso Munoz, Shea Emry, Jamall Johnson, Pat Watkins and Robert McCune all in play. I expect Ottawa to go hard after an LB like Johnson or Emry to help build their non-existent D. Expect Chris Jones to do everything in his power to land Pat Watkins. Expect Winnipeg to make a lot of offers to this group that mostly will get rejected.
- Other than Butler another big name Canadians to watch will be Josh Bourke (who will go with either Montreal or Edmonton)
In lieu of a television special, if you have questions about free agency you can either leave a comment or tweet me with the hashtah #AskProphet and I’ll do my best to answer.