As expected, plenty of players have changed teams in the first three days of free agency in the Canadian Football League.
Here’s one person’s opinion as to which teams have improved and which have been weakened to this point.
It would have been almost impossible for Saskatchewan to be anything but a winner. But considering the talent and depth that are heading to Regina, the Roughriders will be a much better team in 2017. Good enough to not finish last? Unlikely, but possible.
For a team that won a championship, a significant change in personnel continues. Losses at various positions were immediately covered by raiding the Toronto roster; two former Argonauts receivers and one defensive back now call Ottawa home.
The Alouettes just might be able to put together a potent offense this season, after trades and free agency brought a starting quarterback and the league’s best receiver. The signing of lineman Jabar Westerman also sets up the defense to remain quite strong.
The Lions took a couple of hits before free agency, most notably by releasing linebacker Adam Bighill, who signed with an NFL team. But a few under-the-radar signings should ensure the defense has depth and quality, while the offense remains dangerous.
The Stamps haven’t done much in free agency, and that was the plan. After locking up two of their best players hours before free agency began, the Stamps can continue to be picky as they look to add depth to the league’s best team.
When a team enters free agency coming off a disastrous end to a season and without a general manager or head coach, the free agency results will not be good. Toronto is the CFL’s worst team.
The Blue Bombers lost some of the depth that is critical for an 18-game season that runs 20 weeks. Perhaps more importantly, none of the most sought after free agents have joined the team.
Hamilton started the week as a big winner, signing the top available free agent defensive back. But multiple players have signed with other teams, eroding some of this team’s depth; and then on Thursday, the team abruptly released popular offensive lineman Peter Dyakowski.
The Esks’ front office hasn’t done anything drastically wrong during free agency, but it has failed to bring in a significant player. Of course, that is the modus operandi of this front office, so perhaps the focus on the backfield will pay dividends.