My first post of 2024 arrives exactly on brand… late, of questionable quality and with a distinct smell of day old rye. The good news is that if you clicked on this post you are either a longtime reader or so desperate for CFL news that you will literally read anything. In either case, I don’t see you being scared off.
Let’s get caught up on all the news people are talking about this January.
Riders have been relatively quiet, at least from a volume perspective. Getting CJ
Reavis back was a very important signing. Good to have Alford back in the fold.
And Trevor Harris accepted a bit of a pay cut (well at least on paper. Due to
US tax rules his gross may go down but his net might not change a whole ton).
one was letting Moncrief go. I get it but it still hurts. Moncrief has been one
of my favourite players since he showed up here. Stan-up guy on and off the
field who I don’t think people ever fully appreciated his skillset. The
combination of Reavis and a noticeable dip in Moncrief’s play as the season
wore on led to this. Wish him nothing but the best.
haven’t done anything along the D-line yet. I know Micah Johnson is only
contractually allowed to play for the Riders in odd numbered years but we also
have Robertson, Christmas and Lanier headed to free agency. Be curious to see
how Mace builds his D-line.
position I’m watching is RB. We have not re-signed Morrow or Hickson. I’m not a
huge advocate of spending big on and RB but if you were inclined to spend Olivera
and Ouelette would be solid investments. The fact that we have Hudon on the roster
makes it more viable to start a Canadian RB. Also Mace would have connections
to Ouelette. This is nothing but wild speculation but it does make you wonder.
at our other pending FAs, the only ones I would categorize as priorities as
Bane, Kelly (assuming he’s healthy) and Lauther.
are playing the waiting game with Sam Emilus. He has now worked out for 5 NFL team
(Ari, Den, NE, Ten, GB). O’Day kinda hinted that they expect him to be gone for
at least a bit. Normally I would agree. With that many workouts its usually a
lock to be gone. But this happened with Baker last year and he stayed (albeit injuries
likely played a big role there).
the speculation I don’t expect a mass pilfering of the Argos’ free agents. I
bet one or two follow Mace here. But I don’t see us becoming Toronto-West. And given
that they are already Calgary-East that would make us Dave Dickenson’s sloppy
one news tidbit I loved hearing is that Mace asked permission to talk to Stamps
Special Teams Coordinator Mark Kilam. He has long been a rising coaching
prospect and even interviewed for our HC job. Calgary rightly said no (since
its not a promotion) but it shows that Mace is not afraid to set his sights
super high. If he doesn’t get a head coach job in 2025, I could definitely see
Kilam finding his way here as Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator.
of special teams, one of the rule changes being discussed at the CFL winter
meetings involves giving teams the option to take the ball at the 40 after a TD
(same as FGs). I’m all for player safety (which they claim this is about) but
there has to be other ways to address that that don’t eliminate the return
game. Its one of the things the CFL does better than any other league. Its one
of the most exciting plays. That’s why I will always be a supporter of the
return game… and the rouge which encourages returns.