After a fast a furious week of free agency, this slowed down a bit in Riderville. But that just means that there were only a handful of cuts and the signings were less notable people. This is what constitutes a slow couple of days for Chris Jones.
Its Friday so that means my thoughts will be coming to you in random quasi coherent thoughts form. As per usual, the difference from my normal writing style will be generally negligible.
- I was a bit surprised to see Keenan MacDougall released. His debut Rider season was a big disappointment but I figured he was worth a second try. The issue for MacDougall is that he likely had a pretty decent salary after being one of our prize free agent acquisition last season and he was repeatedly injured. Didn't last the first game. Lasted barely one game in a staring role once he was reinserted. We've cut people for less.
- I assume this means we see Graig Newman as essentially replacing MacDougall. That part I'm okay with but now we are back to Matt Webster as our depth at safety and I think he's awful. Hopefully we have some alternative plans in the works.
- Interested to see if Chris Jones can turn Marcus White into an impact player. He's shown a few flashes so I'm glad we brought him back for another look but he's yet to prove he ready to be a full-time contributor. We need depth at DE so the opportunity is there for him.
- As a fan of pro wrestling growing up, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am dubbing new Riders' OL Kamalie Matthews as "The Ugandan Giant". If he were to paint his face up he would pretty much be my hero.
- There will be no bidding war between us and Edmonton for Aaron Grymes (at least for now) as he's off to the NFL. It was never a sure thing we were going to land him and now we are definitely lacking a veteran presence to help bring a new secondary along.
- CFL Schedule was released yesterday. Overall the Riders have a solid schedule. Home opener on the Thursday night before Canada. Closing down the old Mosaic on a Saturday night (I propose they just keep the her stands open until we drink the stadium dry... I'm sure that would end well). My only criticism is that there is a home night game during Craven. But if that's my biggest concern, we are miles a head of years past.
- One of the oddest CFL stories of late has been Jim Popp's handling of Henoc Muamba. When he returned from the NFL last season, Popp opened up the purse strings and gave him a 3 year deal was over $200k. It was a bit of an odd move given that they already had Bear Woods, Kyler Elsworth, Winston Venable, Chip Cox and Kyries Hebert but we all assumed Muamba would be the new fixture and other players would be moved. We were wrong. Turns out Popp had no idea what he was doing. He was forced into releasing Muamba this week to avoid paying a big bonus for a high priced free agent he no longer needs. Just a terrible waste of money and time on Popp's part.
Cleyon Laing (Tor) – Signed with Miami
Aaron Grymes (Edm) – Signed with Philadelphia
Tristan Okpalaugo (Tor) – Has an offer from NY Jets and a workout scheduled with Seattle and Arizona
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DL Marcus White (re-signed), OL Kamalie Matthews, OL Darryl Johnson, RB Terrence Cobb, WR Etauj Allen (free agent signing)
Out: DB Keenan MacDougall, DB Nick Taylor, OL Jamarcus Hardrick (released)
In: OL Tim O’Neil (traded with Hamilton)
In: DL Don Oramasionwu (re-signed), DB Neil King (free agent signing)
Out: DB Aaron Grymes (signed with Philadelphia)
In: OL Jamarcus Hardrick, DB Jonte Green, RB Martese Jackson (free agent signing)
Out: DL Zach Anderson, RB Paris Cotton, DL Greg Peach (released)
Out: OL Tim O’Neil (traded with BC)
In: DB Ryan Hinds (free agent signing)
Out: DL Justin Phillips (released)
In: DB Isaiah Green (re-signed)
Out: DL Cleyon Laing (signed Miami)
In: DL DeQuinn Evans (free agent signing)
Out: LB Henoc Muamba (released)