Players have been able to legally talk to teams for a while now and the deals they have been working on can become official on Tuesday when free agency officially opens. Personally I hope Ed Hervey is the first person to sign someone, just seconds after things open. Legal tampering is after all essentially the Hervey-rule.
The Riders have done a ton of work leading up to free agency. They locked down Cam Judge and Shaq Evans, both key pieces to the team (can you imagine if someone had told you in 2018 that Shaq Evans would be a key signing?). They also managed to retain Ed Gainey, which quite frankly surprised me. I kinda got the sense we were ready to move on. Continuity in the secondary is important so it’s a pleasant surprise… provided he has to win his job in camp and not just be appointed. I wonder if Gainey utilized the legal tampering period to find out the lowish offer from the Riders actually reflected what other teams thought his market value was.
One person not likely coming back is Namaan Roosevelt. A move that has me very conflicted. Look from a purely numbers sense, I get it. We have Moore, Evans, Williams-Lambert and Stafford. All are capable of 1000 yard seasons and are all younger and (with the exception of Evans) cheaper than Roosevelt. Hard to justify investing what Roosevelt is probably worth. But as much as I get it, I hate seeing him go. He’s been one of my favourite players since the 2015 season when Cory Chamblin mysteriously refused to acknowledge his talent. He’s a heart and sole guy that gave his all even when he was playing on crappy teams in crappy games (see the majority of 2015 through 2016). We will need someone to step up and fill the void because he was money on second down. I wish him the best in whatever comes next. I just hope its not with the Bombers… which means knowing my luck, he’s definitely going to the Bombers.
Some people are speculating that we will bring in SJ Green to replace him…. Which is stupid! Why on earth would we deem the 32 year old Roosevelt expendable only to replace him with the 34 year old Green. Doesn’t make sense.
Word is Micah Johnson is heading to BC. Which leaves us a void at DT. I would grade our current D-line was decent to above average at best without Micah. We need a strong push in the middle to help out Hughes and Leonard and I don’t see our current guys being able to do that on their own. Obviously Dylan Wynn would be nice but he will also be $$$$. Another option more reasonable option may be Drake Nevis. Or an even cheaper option, Davon Coleman, though the quality diminishes quickly the less you are willing to pay.
We also still need an MLB and cover LB. Names like Larry Dean, Justin Tuggle, Micah Awe, Don Unamba, Patrick Levels and Anthony Cioffi come to mind. My guess is we an only afford 2 big name players on D so that means one of DT, MLB and cover LB will likely need to be filled by a new guy.
One final note. I love Willie Jefferson and think is the every bit the freak that his hype makes him up to be. But… if Toronto really thinks that paying him $300,000 is going to help turn their team around… that’s a bold strategy I don’t see panning out.
I think you're right on affording only 2 big tickets. Before I give you what I call the Almondo paradigm, I think Elimimian may be back as talks apparently have re-opened. Naylor says only 1 other team is in the discussion. I think he's good for 1 more year & the price is right. If he's back then you gotta look at Unamba, maybe the best SAM in the league & played here once, & Levels. I'm at bit of a loss if Naylor is right & Micah isn't coming back. If Jefferson signs in Hamilton (doubtful as the money is about the same as Wpg) Wynn pops loose. If not I suspect Wynn re-ups in Hamilton.
Here's where the paradigm comes in. You have to be careful when you sign a Robin for big bucks after he's been playing with Batman. Robin doesn't always become Batman. Sewell, Laurent & Laing can skew stats for the DT's next to them. I expected Evans to be in the 7 sack range last year for the same reason - playing beside Johnson, which benefitted both DE's I would argue. So look at the past.
Euclid Cummings 2015, 9 sacks, 28 tackles with Laing. Signed for big $$ in Wpg 3 sacks 16 tackles, dumped. Picked up by Esks 2017 8 sacks in 16 games 21 tackles with Mondo.
Jake Ceresna 2017 2 sacks 18 tackles Ottawa. With Mondo 2018 8 sacks 32 tackles.
Drake Nevis 2016 5 sacks (14 games) 29 tackles with Cleon. 2017/18/19 Wpg 6 sacks (50 games) 24 tackles avg/yr
Dylan Wynn 2017/8 with Laing 8 sacks (26 games) 64 tackles. 2019 with Ted 11 sacks 44 tackles.
I don't think Drake Nevis would be a bad signing but Batman he's not. If Wynn becomes available he may be a Batman but he'll be very expensive & keep in mind Johnson came over with 14 sacks last year. Wynn has benefitted by playing next to Laurent & Laing, 2 of the premier DT's in the league. What I suspect happened to Micah in 2018 was (a) money. We landed Lemon & Capiccotti in 2016 when they were really good & were our prime signings. Bombed. Dennis came in next year off a MOP season & bombed & Micah got paid top $$ & did not live up to expectations. I expect him to recover this year as did the others, except for Capicciotti. (b) Sometimes Batman doesn't have a Robin to elevate to career highs. Henry is old. Hell, the Eskimos # 5 depth guy @ DL is 8 year NFL'er Stephan Charles, a National & 2 years younger. If Henry & Evans end up being our guys, the whole DL suffers. Bad, bad news.
I'd like to see Micah back. If not then Wynn. But Micah was Batman when we got him, Wynn had 3 less sacks & worked with Batman. Yet to see if he can handle the money or a lead role should we go that route.
Solid analysis there. Nevis is not a batman for sure but likely better than most of our Robins. Wynn was good in Toronto so his odds of being a Batman are higher... But no guarantee
Not a good day IMO. Micah leaves a big hole in the middle so I'm curious to see how that is filled. Foster is a good add - I'm okay with that. But Franklin came this way, Johnson the other way, the OL got thinned out so will need some depth there & a good ST left. I keep hearing from the media & coaching staff the other day that we are pretty set. I don't see it. It's not like the Riders ran away with the West. Harris played in the Labour Day games & both Collaros & Nichols didn't miss all 3 games vs the Riders, one win from Winnipeg would have left the Riders in 3rd & Winnipeg take the division. Day 1 for Rider fans I suspect was a disappointment. The brass is kidding themselves if they think standing pat is a good strategy. Micah Johnson says he never got an offer. Wow.
Oops. Should read "IF Harris played Labour Day games & Collaros/Nichols didn't miss all 3 Rider games"
I agree. Franklin improves depth at qb which is about the only positive. Our D is the same but without Micah and Moncrief... Aka 2 of the best at their position. I think we are still a good team but on paper we have taken a step back
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