Two days of free agency in the Canadian Football League is winding down. Here’s one person’s opinion on the top signing and top loss for each team to this point.
ADDITION: Chris Williams, REC, Ottawa
LOSS: Jabar Westerman, DL, signed with Montreal
QUICK SUMMARY: The Lions front office did its heavy lifting prior to free agency, including signing the two most important players who could have gone elsewhere: receiver Bryan Burnham and defensive lineman Mic’hael Brooks. Williams will contribute little this season, as he continues to recover from an ACL injury.
ADDITION: Beau Landry, LB, Hamilton
LOSS: Derek Dennis, OL, signed with Saskatchewan
QUICK SUMMARY: The Stamps also locked up some of their most important potential free agents over the past week. Dennis remains a huge loss, but this team remains the class of the Western Division.
ADDITION: Kendial Lawrence, RB, Hamilton
LOSS: Aaron Milton, RB, signed with Saskatchewan
QUICK SUMMARY: Free agency so far has treated the Esks well; they’ve improved at running back and have lost no top line performers. They’re still behind the Stamps in the west.
ADDITION: Abdul Kanneh, DB, Ottawa
LOSS: Kendial Lawrence, signed with Edmonton
QUICK SUMMARY: The TiCats made their statement on Monday, when they added Kanneh and held onto defensive back Emanuel Davis. If this team doesn’t make marked improvement this season, a coaching change is unavoidable.
ADDITION: Jabar Westerman, DL, BC Lions
LOSS: Winston Venable, LB, signed with Toronto
QUICK SUMMARY: The Als have added a couple players and lost a couple players from a defense that kept them in many games last season. Montreal is good enough to finish ahead of Toronto but likely not good enough to make the playoffs.
ADDITION: Kenny Shaw, REC, Toronto
LOSS: Abdul Kanneh, DB, signed with Hamilton
QUICK SUMMARY: The REDBLACKS receiving corps will certainly look different in 2017. The out-with-the-old will be complete once Ernest Jackson signs with another team. If the new receiving corps does what the former one did, another Grey Cup date is realistic.
ADDITION: Derek Dennis, OL, Calgary
LOSS: Andrew Lue, DB, signed with Edmonton
QUICK SUMMARY: The Roughriders have signed two running backs, two offensive linemen, a receiver and a linebacker; and they’ve lost no one of importance. Just how good will be Western Division be next season?
ADDITION: Winston Venable, LB, Montreal
LOSS: Kenny Shaw, REC, signed with Ottawa
QUICK SUMMARY: There’s no question which team right now is the worst in the CFL. Four wins might mark a successful season for the Argos. Until a new general manager and head coach are in place, this ship is sinking.
ADDITION: Drake Nevis, DL, Hamilton
LOSS: Khalil Bass, LB, signed with Ottawa
QUICK SUMMARY: The Blue Bombers have flown under the radar this off-season, the opposite approach they took one season ago. Losing the top available linebacker will not help this team as it competes in the brutally tough Western Division.