As the first day of free agency in the Canadian Football League winds down, here’s a look at the winners and losers:
The TiCats locked up the best free agent defensive back from another team, getting a deal done with Abdul Kanneh, who leaves Ottawa. Hamilton also signed the best free agent defensive back from its team, hanging on to Emanuel Davis. Considering that Hamilton also kept receiver Terence Toliver, the past 24 hours have been fantastic.
The REDBLACKS grabbed Khalil Bass, the best free agent linebacker. They also might gut Toronto. Ottawa has signed receiver Kenny Shaw and appear close with Dionte Spencer. Adding to Toronto’s carnage, defensive back AJ Jefferson also is heading to the nation’s capital.
The Roughriders signed the top offensive lineman in the league, inking a deal with Derek Dennis. They also added running back Kienan LaFrance, who could go from being a bit player in Ottawa to a starter in Regina.
The Lions made so many important decisions before free agency but still reacted quickly to losing defensive lineman Jabar Westerman and defensive back Ryan Phillips; they grabbed linebacker Tony Burnett from Ottawa and defensive back Tristan Jackson from Ottawa.
This is not a good combination: No general manager. No head coach. Two of the team’s best receivers appear to be Ottawa bound, as does one of its best defensive backs. The Argonauts best signing was another quarterback, which only adds to the confusion about this position on this team.
Two of Winnipeg’s best defensive players will wear a new uniform in 2017. Khalil Bass is heading to Ottawa and Tony Burnett signed with the BC Lions. Those are significant losses at linebacker.
TO BE DETERMINED
Edmonton didn’t make a big splash, although grabbing running back Kendial Lawrence provides a strong partner to Jon White. Perhaps most importantly, the Esks haven’t lost any key players. Yet.
The Montreal Alouettes might be seeking to trade or release Vernon Adams, who was supposed to be the answer at quarterback. What? Montreal did have a successful day in landing defensive lineman Jabar Westerman and defensive back Ryan Phillips.
The Stamps haven’t signed a top free agent but have lost the league’s top lineman. Now, in fairness to the Stamps, they did lock up some of their potential free agents on the eve of free agency.