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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LIONS, REDBLACKS RAVAGED BY NFL SIGNINGS

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Colts have signed Canadian Football League star Alex Bazzie to a reserve-future contract.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound outside linebacker had 29 sacks and 83 tackles in 50 games with the BC Lions. Last season, Bazzie had 11 sacks in 18 games and was a West Division All-Star.

With Indy's career leader in sacks, Robert Mathis, retiring and last season's sacks leader, Erik Walden, set to become a free agent, the Colts need pass rushers. Walden and Mathis combined for 16 of the team's 33 sacks in 2016.

Indy has had mixed results with CFL players.

Linebacker Jerrell Freeman became a key starter before leaving for Chicago last March. A one-year experiment with receiver Duron Carter did not work out.

There are reports that returner Anthony Gaitor - who was granted an early release along with Bazzie by the B.C. Lions on Monday - has signed with the New Orleans Saints.  Last month the Saints signed star Lions linebacker Adam Bighill and the Arizona Cardinals have reportedly signed Lions punter Richie Leone.

Meanwhile the Philadelphia Eagles have announced they've signed defensive back Mitchell White, who spent the past two years with the Ottawa RedBlacks.  Ottawa DB Jeff Richards has signed with the Carolina Panthers and teammate Forrest Hightower has joined the Saints.

The Eskimos have been ravaged too, with linebacker Deon Lacey signing with the Miami Dolphins and receiver Derrel Walker joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The top three Rider free agents who are expected to garner the most NFL interest are linebackers Jeff Knox Jr. and Otha Foster and defensive end Willie Jefferson however so far there's no news on that front.

(With files from the Associated Press)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

good

Anonymous said...

Hate to see talent drained from the CFL, but on the flip side there will be the next Bighill and Chick out there somewhere waiting to be found.

Rudyman said...

I truly hope that the riders one day are good enough at finding talent, that we lose a lot of players to the NFL. I think it says a lot about the quality of scouting and development that a team has and does with it's players. If a team has the reputation that it develops its players well enough that they get NFL offers, it probably would help recruiting as well.

I think that is the team win or lose I would love to cheer for.

Anonymous said...

Riders might have a chance seeing the Eskies are being hit again also losing Derel Walker and Deon Lacey...both will not be back but scouting is great in the green and gold so maybe the riders won't have a chance lol.

Anonymous said...

I thought there was supposed to be a massive talent gap between the NFL and CFL, no?

Anonymous said...

Players are picked off successful teams because good players make good teams. Players off winning teams aren't picked just because they won.

Anonymous said...

Good teams lose good players
Bad teams lose no one as no one wants bad players
Riders lose no one as they have only bad players , bad coach and bad gm and oh yes a bad team.

Ed said...

To anon who said:I thought there was supposed to be a massive talent gap between the NFL and CFL, no?........lol yes sir there sure is and it is HUGE, there are very few Cameron Wakes ever in the CFL. This will hurt some die hard's feelings but the truth hurts sometimes and that truth is that very few CFL "stars" that can even make NFL practice rosters.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Your assumption that the gap between the two leagues proves to me that you know little of what you speak. The difference between the two leagues is money, marketing and fan support. Your point has been made by thousands of arm chair quarterbacks that never played the game itself. Scouts have often told me that the difference between those who make it and those that don't could be measured under a microscope. Andre Ware won the Heisman and couldn't make it in either leagues. The all pro lineman Mark Gastineau was a wash with the Lions when he travelled north, Ricky Williams... I could go on and on but must get back to work. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard this knee jerk statement.

Anonymous said...

They are different leagues with different rules and playing styles. Dressler for example is a great wr, suited to the Canadian game. There have been CFL stars go down and not make it. There have also been NFL stars who have decided to come up here too and a lot of them don't make it either. They are all amazing players with amazing talent. But their Talents are just better suited for each individual league.

Anonymous said...

To anon that answered Ed: the reason former NFL players don't thrive in the CFL is a very simple one....they do not in any way shape or form WANT to be here....any player who has played at the highest level of their sport has no desire to keep toiling away in a league with very little fans or money. In terms you may understand I'll put it in Sask terms....it's just like when a kid plays WHL from 16 to 19...then at 20 he's sent down to the SJHL, these players do not dominate for the simple reason that their desire and heart are gone, they know they are not going back to the "show" and it kills their motivation. But anyone who thinks CFL players are as good as NFL are only kidding themselves.