I had a request from a reader to do a post about which potential NFL cuts the Riders would have their eye on. Given that I have like 3.5 readers I should probably make an effort to pander to them. If you are one of the other 2.5 readers and have an idea for a post feel free to send it my way. Better yet, feel free to write out the post in its entirety and send it my way so I can steal the credit. That fits a lot better with my usual effort levels.
So NFL training camps are in full swing which means that soon a lot of people are going to be cut. CFL GMs will be scouring these cuts to see if they can find guys to bolster their roster for this year or bring in to develop with an eye for next year. Here are some names that the Riders may be keeping an eye on.
Obviously #1 on the list is WR Jordan Williams-Lambert (currently with the Bears). He is the first beneficiary of the newly reinstated option year. So if he does not stick down south, he comes back to the Riders. Receiver isn’t a huge need at this point but for a guy with his skillset, you find a spot for him. Most likely that would be by bumping out Arceneaux. Usually a concern with WRs coming back from the NFL is that they bulk up but Lambert played at 228 last year and did just fine so that likely isn’t a concern. I’d put odds he comes back around 60%.
Two other names on our watch list are past draft picks DL David Oneymata (Saints) and TE Anthony Auclair (Bucs). Oneymata is not coming north any time soon and Auclair is unlikely at least this year. But both would be boosts to our Cdn talent if by some miracle they did shake loose.
In terms of need, obviously right now, some D-line depth would be nice. There aren’t many former CFL D-linemen down south. The list is essentially James Vaughters (Bears) and Jake Ceresna (Giants). I would put odds of Vaughters coming back higher than Ceresna as a CFL DT is typically more similar to an NFL one than a DE is (though as I type this I just saw him force a fumble in preseason). But I doubt either ultimately end up here. Ceresna would command good $$ and we already have lots invested at DT. A more realistic name to watch is DL Sterling Shippy (Colts) who was just released as one of the names on our neg list.
Another category of course is former Riders. Sam Eguavoen (Dolphins) obviously tops the list but dude is pushing for a starting job on that D and is quite frankly too talented not to stick for at least one season. LB Brian Peters (FA) is still out there. LB is not a huge area of need but he would be a nice depth add. The one name I’m surprised hasn’t surfaced here is Kacy Rogers. He went to the Jets then the AAF and is now a free agent. LJ McCray is doing a decent job at corner (certainly not the trainwreck Means was) but Rogers would be an impact add in the secondary.
Other “big names” on the radar would be guys like Brett Jones (Vikings). It would be a great story to bring him home but I think he sticks in the NFL and if he comes north there would be a huge bidding war that I don’t think we have the money to win. Defensively guys like Dexter McCoil (FA), Jameer Thurman (Bears), Shaq Richardson (FA), Deon Lacey (Bills) and Kenny Laddler (Giants) would be worth watching. Offensively its Duke Williams (Bills) and Diontae Spencer (Steelers) but don’t expect us to pursue either.
With the exception of Lambert and then possibly Shippy (great name by the way) and Rogers I expect us to be pretty quiet in terms of “name” players come cut time. Though I have been wrong before. I’m married, so my wife would refer to that as “every day”.