Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Round-Up: Free Agency Primer

I'll start with some big news. Though I was once again turned down by TSN for a full day Free Agent Frenzy show, I have decided to got at it on my on. And so I'm somewhat proud to announce (unless this turns into a horrible idea) the 1st Annual Rider Prophet CFL Free Agent Occurrence (calling it a frenzy just seems wrong). Tuesday I will be doing a live blog starting an hour before free agency opens and going until I decide enough is enough. Also watch my twitter feed for news, updates, thoughts and the ever popular Hobo Watch. Given how thin the free agent market is this year I realize this may not be the best time to try this out but I'll be at home anyway and its not like you won't be keeping tabs on what's happening so why not do it in an entertaining fashion. Join me Tuesday.

To get you read for free agency here's a breakdown by position.

There are no starting jobs up for grabs and no highly sought after prospects hitting the market. I mean I doubt we are on the cusp of a bidding war for the likes of Brian Brohm or Justin Goltz. The irony for me the is that Kevin Glenn is the best available player but the only team with a real need at QB is BC who just got rid of him
Best available: Kevin Glenn
Other names to watch: Dan LeFevour – His game is entirely base on his mobility and he will be coming off major knee injury but for team in the market for a back-up with upside… he’s a decent option


Best available: Nic Grisby – I find it tough to be so negative about a guy who had 10 TDs and 1200 yards from scrimmage but realistically he won’t be starting in 2015 and I’m not even sure I’d be actively pursuing him if I was a GM.
Other names to watch:
Kendial Lawrence - a utlity guy for Edmonton some running some receiving, some returning, very versatile weapon who had a pretty productive season despite some inconsistent play.
Jonathan Williams - had a couple massive games that should at least make someone want to bring him in for a look.

Wide Receiver
Had potential to be a quality crop of receivers… until Dressler and Green re-signed. There are a few decent options out there but moreso role players than big impact guys.
Best available: Earnest Jackson – his 813 receiving yards jump out at you… until you remember that 372 of that came in 2 games and he only managed 471 over the other 12 games he played. Hard to tell if those 2 games are a sign of better things to come or just an aberration.
Other names to watch:
Sam Guigere – One of the few Canadians hitting the market who could legitimately fill a starting role.

Was setting up to be a big year for top end free agent O-linemen until Heenan, Holmes and O’Donnell came off the market. Clearly Brett Jones is the prize possessions but he is exploring NFL options so I will leave him out for now.
Best available: Stanley Bryant – two time all-star tackle who doesn’t really get much fanfare for how good he is. Any team looking for a strong OL anchor will be giving this guy a call. Somebody will be paying him a lot of money.
Other names to watch:  Edwin Harrision and SirVincent Rogers – Both are starting calibre import tackles so their phones should be busy.
Alex Krausnik-Groh – I think he is an underrated OL and in market thin on Canadians he becomes a fairly attractive option.

It’s a really weak market for D-lineman, there are very few free agent DL to begin with and of those only a couple are even noteworthy.
Best available: Justin Hickman – Didn’t have huge stats in his return to the CFL but certain had an impact on the play of that line. I would expect a better year out of him now that he will have a full CFL offseason and training camp as opposed to coming in mid-year.
Other names to watch: Khalif Mitchell – already wore out his welcome in Toronto and BC twice now, his play has slipped to the point where his baggage may no longer be worth the hassle. Be interested to see if finds a new home… or if he will have to spend more time focusing on his energy drink venture.


Best available: Rennie Curran – JC Sherritt’s resurgence makes Curran expandable in Edmonton. He’s young and already proven he can play at a high level. He will be highly covoted.
Other names to watch:
Sam Hurl – As I mentiopned, very few decent Canadians hitting the market. Hurl is a solid player on teams and can contribute on D.
Brian Peters – In only his second year he developed into an impact player both on defense and special teams.

Defensive Back
A few decent names out there. Not a ton of need out there for DBs but there are a few starting spots up for grabs.
Best available: Geoff Tisdale,
Other names to watch: Desia Dunn

CFL Ins and Outs

In: DB Woodney Turenne (contract extension)
Out: OL Ben Heenan (signed with Indianapolis), Jason Tucker (joining Tennessee Titans’ coaching staff).

In: DB Fred Bennett, RB Jock Sanders (contract extension)

In: KR Brandon Banks, LB Taylor Reed (contract extension)

In: WR Toney Clemons, DB Demetrius Wright (free agent signing)
Out: LB Kyle Jones (released), P Mike Renaud (retired)

In: OL Nik Embernate, WR Darryl Surgent, DL Tracy Robertson (free agent signing)

In: DB Jerald Brown, RB Brandon Rutley (contract extension), RB Jordan Hall (free agent signing)

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