Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Jefferson, Carter and More Damn Talk about QBs

I don't know about you but I'm sick of it. I'm sick of talking about QBs, specifically as it relates to the Riders. I get that its the most important position in football (despite what the long snapper will tell you) but I'm about ready to talk about something else. But here we are again talking about QBs... I could write about something else but no one would care. I could honestly take an article written about someone else and do a "replace all" with Durant's name and it would be my most clicked on post.

I will not get dragged down into the bitterly divisive argument about the rightness or wrongness of the trade (sometimes it makes American politics look damn near civil by comparison). By this point you either love it or you hate it and I highly doubt that any one of you is going to read an article (even by a writer as intellectually superior as me) and go " wow! I've been wrong about this all along! I'm completely changing my opinion based on what this guy on the internet told me." What I will do however is give some words of wisdom to people on both sides of the great debate.

To the "pro-team, great move" crowd, please be aware that questioning the logic of a move does not disqualify someone from being a fan. It is possible to remain a team supporter and disagree with the move.

To the "pro-player, worst move in history" crowd, please be aware that it is possible to be supportive of a beloved player without renouncing your support of his former team. For goodness sake, if you have been a fan for any length you loved through decades of losing, telethons, criminal charges against our GM, criminal charges against most players on the team and so on... I highly doubt this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

I am also sick of the endless rumour cycle now surrounding our QB situation, Franklin, Tate, Glenn, Lulay... at the rate the rumours are going its only a matter of time before Manziel, Tebow and the guy from the movie Varsity Blues get added to the mix. As for the current QB options available to us, allow me to give my quick take on them:

- Mitchell Gale - Strikes me as a guy who could maybe lead us to a 500 season (maybe) but he doesn't strike me as a guy who can carry a team to the top.

- GJ Kinne - He looked god awful when he played. Strikes me as the worst option currently on the roster.

- Jake Waters - He played all of like 4 snaps before getting injured. I have no clue about his potential but his 4 snaps of experience don't instill confidence in his ability to suddenly become the starter.

- Brandon Bridge - The guy looked good in the 4th quarter of a meaningless game against one of the worst teams in the league outside of us... and all of the sudden people are anointing him as the next one. If he were not Canadian would anyone even care about him? I'm not writing him off but he is not currently on my radar as a strong option to start in 2017.

Now let's move on to happier topics... like the signing of Willie Jefferson! This is the first big addition we've made since the re-signing of Roosevelt way back in December. Sure it was nice to sign guys like Cox, Gainey and Crapigna but they were all under contract for next year already. Jefferson is a guy we had potential to lose. He is a very important re-signing. He was far and away the best d-linmen of 2016 (though the bar was admittedly not set high). He is an impactful player in our defensive front.

The other big news (though its been rumoured for a while now) is that Duron Carter will be signing with the Riders. According to Justin Dunk, the deal is for $130,000 with nothing upfront. That is a great deal for a receiver of his calibre. Sure he's a head case and prima donna but I think a competent coach (i.e. not Jim Popp) could keep him focused. The key to keeping him happy and away from all the drama is to win games and feed him the ball. Now, both of those require a good QB so at current state that is a concern put from a purely talent standpoint, $130k for a top end receiver is a good deal. I will say though that given his tendency for bumping coaches and Wally Buono's tendency for being on the field, its only a matter of time.

NFL Watch:
Jeff Knox (Ssk) – signed in Tampa Bay
Alex Bazzie (BC) – signed with Indianapolis
Otha Foster (Ssk) – worked out for Baltimore
Bo Lokombo (BC) – worked out for Baltimore
Bryan Burnham (BC) – worked out for Philadelphia, Jacksonville

CFL Ins and Outs

In: DL Willie Jefferson, DL Jonathan Newsome (contract extension)
Out: QB Darian Durant (traded to Mtl), LB Jeff Knox (signed in NFL)

In: DB Chris Rwabukamba (free agent signing)

In: QB Alex Ross, LB Gionni Paul, DL David Perkins, WR Levi Norwood, WR Darrin Patterson, OL Nate Ilses, OL Adrian Bellard (free agent signing)
Out: DL Alex Bazzie (signed in NFL)

In: WR Vidal Hazelton (contract extension)

In: QB Matt Nichols, WR Darvin Adams (contract extension), WR Kenny Stafford, LB Akeem Whonder (free agent signing)

In: LB Simoni Lawrence, OL Landon Rice (contract extension), DL Delano Johnson, LB Mitch Barnett, LB Geoff Hughes, DB Cassius Vaughn (re-signed), DB Keon Lyn, DB Axel Ofori, OL Everton Williams, WR Matt Uren, FB Felix-Lussier  (free agent signing)

In: LB Taylor Reed, DL Andrew Marshall (contract extension), DB Desmond Cooper, RB LaVance Taylor, DL Reuben Frank, WR Armon Binns, OL Kadeem Adams, RB Brandon Ross, DB Jonte Green (free agent signing)

In: K Lirim Hajrullahu, OL Tyler Holmes, RB Anthony Coombs (contract extension)
Out: OL Josh Bourke (released)

In: QB Darian Durant (traded with Ssk, contract extension), OL Luc Brodeur-Jourdain (contract extension)
Out: QB Greg McGhee, WR Cody Hoffman, OL Laquan McGowan (released)

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