Last week we looked at the Riders’ pending Free Agent. This week we turn our attention to other teams’ pending FAs to see where the Riders may be currently tampering… oh come on, let’s not pretend like its not happening.
In terms of need at the present time: Offensively we still need an impact WR (presumably Shaq Evans fills this spot though), a starting offensive tackle, Canadian depth at O-line, and a back-up RB/returner (i.e. Marcus Thigpen but preferably a decade younger).
Defense is another story as we have extensive needs there. We need linebackers desperately, we need a starting D-tackle and a starting halfback. So based on this, you can expect our free agent shopping to focus on this side of the ball.
For each team I’ve highlighted 3 names. A super obvious name (i.e. a big name player that odds aren’t great we land), an under the radar name (i.e. probably not a well known name or even a starter) and a possible target (i.e. someone we realistically might pursue and land).
Obvious: DL Chris Casher. With 7 sacks in his first season, Casher went from unknown new guy to coveted pass rusher. At only 26 his phone will be busy.
Under The Radar: LB Marcus Ball. Not an under the radar name but a name that people may have forgotten about after he returned from the NFL only to be promptly injured. He’s an impact player and we need linebackers.
Possible target: RB Terry Williams. If you are looking for the next Thigpen, Williams certainly fits the bill as one of the premier returners in the league. Not sure we actually would be willing to pay enough to pry him away from the Stamps.
Obvious: LB Larry Dean. Pretty simple here. We need linebackers and he is the best one that will potentially be available. He will be looking to get paid though.
Under The Radar: RB Martese Jackson. With Christon Jones locked up, Jackson likely shakes loose. He's a returner that could be a change of pace RB. At 27, he's a baby by our current RB standards.
Possible target: LB Jovon Santos-Knox. After an injury filled season, his price tag won’t be as hefty as Dean.
Obvious: Brandon Bridge… kidding, kidding. Aaron Grymes is the guy. He’s a top tier cover guy (though coming off injury).
Under The Radar: OL Jean-Simon Roy. A second round pick of the Eskimos. Roy has yet to grow into a fulltime starter but could offer some OL depth with potential to grow.
Possible target: OL Justin Renfrow. I had him as a potential target even before his bizarre twitter exchange with Charleston Hughes where he seemed to imply he wanted to come here. He played well at left tackle after coming over to BC from Calgary in a trade.
Obvious: Willie Jefferson. Don’t see it happening but he’s the top name on their list of pending FAs.
Under The Radar: LB Korey Jones. He was here in 2016 a fact you might not remember because much of that year was utter shite. He’s consistently the same player wherever he ends up… solid back-up LB who can fill in as a starter if need be.
Possible target: I honestly don’t see us targeting any Bomber players they have a pretty small list to begin with an no one on there jumps out as someone we would target.
Obvious: LB Chris Ackie. Given that we have Mike Edem I don’t see us actually targeting him but as an impact Canadian starter he’s big name.
Under The Radar: DL Woody Baron. A guy who could be a rotational DT and would come cheaper then top end options like Micah or Dylan Wynn.
Possible target: LB Patrick Levels we need linebackers and Level is coming off a breakout season where he made 86 tackles and 5 sacks. Could slide nicely into Moncrief’s old spot.
Obvious: DL Dylan Wynn and Ja’Gared Davis. Two of the top D-lineman in the league. Whoever lands either of these 2 is getting a huge boost.
Under The Radar: DB Rico Murray. Starting to get up there in age but has experience playing both HB and cover LB… 2 places we currently have vacancies.
Possible target: LB Justin Tuggle is a name to watch as a veteran guy who could slide in at MLB if Elimimian doesn’t return.
Obvious: DB Jonathan Mincy. One of the top cover guys in the league. He will have multiple suitors… side note “Multiple Suitors” sounds the topic of someone’s nightmare.
Under The Radar: DL Tobi Antigha. It doesn’t seem that Jason Shivers has the same affinity for “freak athletes” that don’t necessarily fit a specific position as Chris Jones did but as a guy familiar with the team and the system Antigha would be nice depth add.
Possible target: OL Jamal Campbell. He’s a 27 year old Canadian that has played tackle at the pro level. An intriguing prospect for a team in need of a youth injection at OL.
Obvious: DL JR Tavai. Ottawa had just 28 total sacks last season (2nd worst in the CFL). Tavai had 8 of those. If he can do that in a bad defense (while missing 2 games), imagine what he could do with some real pass rushers around him.
Under The Radar: LB Jeff Knox. No longer appears he’s the top end player he was when he was first with the Riders but he is only 27 and would be a niece piece of depth to add given the current question marks we have at LB
Possible target: LB Anthony Cioffi. A bright spot on an otherwise miserable RedBlacks defense. In the search to replace Moncrief, he’s another name to watch.