Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Free Agency Week

By the time Tuesday finally gets here all the excitement about the opening of free agency might be gone. Most players have already announced the deals they totally can’t officially sign until Tuesday. It will just be a steady string of press releases making official deals that we’ve know about for days. By this point if you’re a free agent who hasn’t signed you gotta start wondering if there will be any cash left for you.

It's been a busy few days so let’s get you caught up.

Who we kept

The big news of course is that we kept Duke… and paid him handsomely. His one year, $260K contract makes him the highest paid receiver in the CFL. Honestly did not think O’Day would pay him what it would take. I’m happy he did, he just hasn’t been the type to sign these “highest paid” deals. With Duke, Shaq and Moore we have one hell of an offense brewing… assuming we find a way to actually pass block.

We kept Larry Dean. Assuming he’s healthy its an important signing as we need a strong veteran presence in the middle. We also re-signed Pete Robertson. I’m really excited to see what guys like Robertson, Woodard, Lanier and Marino can do in year 2.

Who we lost… it’s a growing list

Gainey is reuniting with Jones in Edmonton (sounds like Mak Henry too). Micah is off to Hamilton. Purifoy is getting paid to return to BC. Powell is going back to Ottawa. Jon Ryan is… well he’s just not coming back.  

Gainey is not surprising… though I felt a lot better about letting him go before Purifoy also left. I’m a big Purifoy fan so he’s a loss and his versatility is going to be tough to replace. I enjoy Micah’s 1 year here followed by 1year signing somewhere else pattern and look forward to his return in 2023. He is also a loss but we are betting on AC and the new recruits being ready to carry that line. Powell is not much of a loss. I like him but he is not a good age for an RB and should be replaceable. As for Jon Ryan, I get the sentimental aspect here but from a purely performance standpoint he was a mediocre CFL punter who was among the top paid at his position and was closing in on 40. What part of that equation says re-sign him? He is a great person and his overall football career is damn impressive but he never finished above 5th in net punting as a Rider.  

Who we should be targeting

We have 3 primary needs and a couple less pressing ones heading into Tuesday. We still need an offensive tackle. Options are essentially limited to Rykar Matthew (please, please, please) and Justin Renfrow (still better than watching Boyko and Jefferson embarrass themselves). We need a halfback. Options there include DeShaun Amos, Richard Leonard, Nick Taylor, or Jeff Richards. Amos would be the top target. Leonard strikes me as a slightly more likely/affordable. We also need a cover LB. Moncrief, Darby, Cioffi, Unamba and Levels are all options. 

Assuming Marino stays healthy we don’t need at DT but it would be nice to add one. Steven Richardson is the top option but he should get paid so a more value option may be Drake Nevis or Woody Baron. Also we will need to add some Canadian special teamers with both Herdmans, Dearborn, Francis and Bouka still unsigned. We do get Lokombo back and there is still the draft but we are a little thin there.

Some chatter linking us to Darnell Sankey. He’s a phenomenal player but I’m sure I see him as priority in terms of spending with Dean and Teitz locked in at LB. I mean I'd take gladly take him but not the biggest area of need. 

Be interesting to see what O’Day has up his sleeves tomorrow… though in all likelihood all our signings will be leaked within 5 mins of me posting this if history is any indication.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully we go after DT "Stove" Richardson and rykers matthews. Ted Laurent would be great too

Anonymous said...

You can thank BC for having to pay so much for Duke. Maybe one reason for not getting Micah & Purifoy, who claims Riders lowballed him. We do have some young guns who can step in but Bouka, Dearborn, Campbell, Hendy, Lippett & McCray, all DB's, all unsigned. Still work to be done.

As for wish list - Richardson is apparently signed & soon to be delivered to BC. Was long shot at best. BC has done very little about their OL so I can't see them not keeping Matthews. Nick Taylor has re-upped with Wpg. Leonard had a down season so I would be surprised if the Stamps don't find a way to keep Amos. I'm really surprised that Jones hasn't locked up Moncrief which looks good for the Riders. I don't see money being an issue with keeping Moncrief in Edm so maybe he wants to get back to Regina - his girlfriend's there, no? I've also heard Henry is off to Edm, probably Lacey if the Dean signing is any indication. They need to up ST's so I would think Francis is a target. Yeah, I don't see Sankey for same reasons you mention.

Laurent?? Originally signed by Edmonton & they had him & Sewell for a bit. But wanted to go East so left. I think he's pretty established there but only place he could fit in there is TO & I could see that. But it's a possibility. He'd may want a bit more than O'Day would want to pay considering his age.

Rider Prophet said...

Laurent is similar to Andrew Harris for me. Yes he's a stud but at his age you have to wonder whether he can do it for a full year. For the right price absolutely but I worry about spending too much for an aging vet.