The 2020 Rider roster is slowly coming together. It took a big step forward Sunday when Cameron Judge was re-signed. Retaining the impact Canadian was really important. A less heralded but important piece was locking up Takoby Cofield. I've said previously I thought he was out best lineman in 2018. The combo of him and Vaughn likely means we are going younger and cheaper at tackle and Thaddeus Coleman (a mainstay since 2016) is done.
So with legal tampering upon us and free agency looming, what's left for the Riders to round out their roster?
Impact WR - You can build a solid receiving core with Moore, Williams-Lambert and Stafford but you need one more explosive piece to really make it work. The logical target here is Shaq Evans. I think building on the chemistry he and Fajrado found in 2019 will be important and if he can get that much downfield love from McAdoo, just imagine what Maas can do with him? If it's not him, other potential targets include DeVier Posey, Darvaris Daniels (who will have some familiarity with Maas), Derel Walker and Darvin Adams. With the exception of possibly Daniels, I don't see us targeting an outside WR in free agency though.
Defensive Tackle - In theory you could roll with a rotation of Evans, Dabire, Henry and Faulk but I don't think that will be enough to maintain the impact we need at D-line to make our D run. Micah is still in the mix but we won't be willing to pay him top dollar like last season. Other options include Dylan Wynn, Drake Nevis, Woody Baron or Davon Coleman.
Middle LB - My theory is that given limited salary $, we will need to go young and cheap at one of the Lb spots. Knowing O'Day my guess is he will value a veteran in the middle more and be willing to roll the dice on the outside. A return of Elimimian would be the most logical but Larry Dean, Micah Awe and Justin Tuggle could also be available.
Cover LB - My guess is we go young/cheap here but if we choose to dip into free agency, Marcus Ball, Anthony Cioffi, Don Unamba and Patrick Levels would be options. As would Rico Murray (who is also an option at HB)
Halfback - Really getting the sense we are moving on from Gainey. As mentioned Rico Murray is a potential replacement. Other DBs out there include Richard Leonard, Frankie Williams. This is the one position I have the least sense what direction we are going.
Punter - The longer this drags out, the more the question become: If not Ryan, then who? Outside of someone new to the league, options are pretty limited. There;s Bartel (who Coach Dickenson pretty much said was too much of a wuss to attempt to tackle on special teams, so I don't see a return there). Toronto's kickers are available but that's for good reason. So we will likely just wait on Ryan... he may pull a Favre and not commit to playing until after training camp.
Signing Judge & Cofield tightens up 2 areas that need attention. Good siginings.
WR - I think you got it right at WR. If not Evans, Daniels may already have tipped his hand by saying "who wouldn't want to play in Regina". Maas helps there.
DT/MLB - Paying Judge $210K, most of it hard money, means I can't see getting Micah & Dean. Dean made $210K in Edmonton & will get the same there or on the market. Micah was the highest paid D guy in the league last year & will get paid. Lots of bidders & I hear Hervey wants him bad for that awful DL. Wynn will be very expensive as well. But if we go with Evans, Dabire, Henry & Faulk we're in trouble. Add in a 36 year old Hughes who had 1 sack in each of the last 6 Rider games the past 2 years & our DL minus Johnson is below average. If you think otherwise you need only look to the co-leaders in sacks west of us who have Sewell (7 sacks), Moore (9), Ceresna (8 before trying the NFL last year) @ DT with the latter 2 only 26. Add in Evan Marchibroda, 2 time all Cdn USports from U Sask on training wheels & the twin 24 year old National DE's in Boateng & record 4 time USports award winer Betts & then tell me how we stack up. I think Micah is a key piece but it would mean paying him like Judge or better. That means we likely need to sign Elimimian who's cheaper than Dean. Don't like our DL as it sits now at all. Sorry, Prophet.
Cover LB/HB-Unamba & Levels, who I like, will be pricey. Ball & Murray look like the best possibilities. I'm with you on Gainey. Remember he said there was nothing to do in Regina. I think he & the Riders are ready for a change.
Punter-ditto. Can't say I'm a fan of Ryan as a punter. Great story though.
Oh I'm with you on the dline. We need one more impact guy to feel good. Zach Evans doesn't have me convinced. Maybe he has a bounceback season in him. But unless Dabire takes a giant step forward we still need help there.
As you know it looks like multiple teams are in on Micah & Daniels in the $200K range. So Evans is going to want that kind of money. Dean apparently isn't in the Esk plans & is going to free agency. He's likely looking for $200K as well. With Jefferson reportedly looking for $275K, Riders are 1 of 3 teams who haven't made an offer. I think we have to do something about DT & I don't see Wynn coming any cheaper so that leaves us with who exactly? Laing I would expect to re-sign in TO. They'll have loads of CAP space & there's Nevis but if the Bombers can't sign Jefferson I don't see him shaking loose. We'll see if the Riders step up to the plate for Micah but he will be very pricey & has options. We just put out $210K for Judge so that probably ups what Elimimian is looking for & likely Dean would want more & can likely get it. There aren't a lot of MLB's out there. It's going to be a very nervous few days here for a few clubs. I have to agree with Naylor's assessment on TSN the other day. Of all the teams the Alberta teams are the best positioned in terms of not having a lot of areas of need. I do think the Bo Levi injury situation could be a problem so it will be interesting to see what Hufnagel has to say there. I listened to a Rider talk show today & I am surprised by how little concern there seems to be about the current edition.
Coming from Farhan Lalji it looks like Derel Walker may be reunited with Reilly. Walker wanted to go there last year but the price was too high. Farhan, who usually is a reliable source, confirms what I've been saying for awhile. Hervey wants Micah & apparently there is mutual interest. Some Rider fans may disagree but that would be a huge loss. If it turns out that way, it will be interesting to see how O'Day replaces him.
Dave Naylor reports that Shaq Evans deal is for 1 year AND with that O'Day has signed all his targeted free agents. If that means he is passing on Micah Johnson, I hope he has a backup plan. I guess Solomon is on his way out too. Two areas of need. It's also interesting to me that Sunderland has been doing a lot of multi year deals/extensions. Harris, Moore, Ellingson, Ceresna, Cooper, Beard, Ruby, Collins are all extended/signed for at least 2 years. Shaq is unlikely to go south as they want younger guys. Why can't we get him signed for a couple of years? Judge I undestand but when the media makes it sound like this is a genius move, my first thought is lots of GM's get guys back for 1 year. I'd be impressed if we got the top guys back on muti-year deals.
Unless it gives them more money in year 1 of the contract players are quite frankly stupid to sign anything longer than 1 year. Contracts are not guaranteed so anything "promised" in that second year is worthless. Unless I got paid more in year 1, I would not recommend signing a long-term deal.
People can complain about 1 year contracts all they want but until teams start guaranteeing contracts they will be a fixture of the business.
I get what you're saying Rider. But if a GM gets players on a 2 year deal, it's a big benefit to his team. So you gotta tip your hat to Sunderland for getting multi year deals done. Makes life a lot easier come free agent period.
Oh absolutely. Takes skill to get multi year deals in this environment. Impressive that we got guys like Moore and Moncrief on 3 year deals
Post a Comment