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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 CFL FREE AGENCY TRACKER



SASKATCHEWAN

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed free-agent national defensive lineman Zack Evans.               

Evans (6’4 – 295) is a veteran of six seasons after originally entering the CFL with the Riders as a territorial junior in 2012. The 27-year-old Regina native spent two seasons with the Riders before being selected by the Ottawa Redblacks in the expansion draft ahead of the 2014 season. After four seasons in Ottawa, Evans has returned home to Saskatchewan.  

Last season, Evans started 18 regular-season games for the Redblacks, collecting 23 defensive tackles and five quarterback sacks. He also started the East Semi-Final, registering one defensive tackle.

In 86 career games, Evans has amassed 87 defensive tackles, 22 sacks, one interception and one touchdown. He is a two-time Grey Cup champion – winning with the Riders in 2013 and with Ottawa in 2016. 


SASKATCHEWAN

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following roster moves:

RELEASED:
  • International offensive lineman Derek Dennis
  • International defensive lineman Antonio Longino
  • International linebacker Glenn Love

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CALGARY

The Calgary Stampeders have signed national defensive lineman Ese Mrabure.
The 25-year-old from North York, Ont., has played a total of 38 CFL games - including 16 starts - over three CFL seasons with the BC Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders. With Saskatchewan in 2017, he played 16 games and recorded 17 tackles, two sacks, nine QB pressures and one fumble recovery.

"In Ese, we get a versatile defensive lineman with a high ceiling," said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. "His addition will make for a very competitive training camp."

An alumnus of Wilfrid Laurier University, Mrabure was selected fifth overall by BC in the 2015 draft. He played one season for the Lions before signing with Saskatchewan in 2016. He has 39 career defensive tackles as well as two special-teams tackles, three sacks and one fumble recovery.

"When the opportunity arose to come to Calgary, the stars lined up and showed me this was the place for me," said Mrabure. "I also had a really good conversation with Coach Dave Dickenson and I'm looking forward to playing with the Stampeders."



MONTREAL

The Montreal Alouettes strengthened their secondary on the opening day of CFL free agency on Tuesday, as the club signed international defensive backs Joe Burnett, Tommie Campbell and Dominique Ellis to one-year deals.

Burnett (5'10'', 180 lbs.) helped the Calgary Stampeders reach the Grey Cup the last two seasons. The 31-year-old defensive back made 11 defensive tackles in as many games in 2017, while intercepting one pass and knocking down another. The Eustis, FL native played his first three seasons in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos, prior to playing the following three in Calgary. In 80 career games, Burnett recorded 198 defensive tackles and intercepted 12 passes, including three for touchdowns. The former University of Central Florida Knight also recovered three fumbles, including one for a touchdown and knocked down 23 passes.

Campbell (6'3'', 203 lbs.) played in 17 games for the Calgary Stampeders in 2017 collecting 37 tackles and two interceptions. The 30-year-old joined the Stampeders in 2016 and played in all of the team's 18 regular season games in Calgary in his rookie season. The Aliquippa, PA native posted a career-high 71 defensive tackles and three interceptions, while defending nine passes on his way to being named a CFL All-Star. Prior to joining the CFL, Campbell was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, where he played for three seasons before joining the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 44 career games in the NFL, he made 37 tackles while forcing a fumble.

Ellis (5'11'', 204 lbs.) returns to Montreal after starting his professional career with the Alouettes in 2014. Last season, he was limited to five games during which he made 17 defensive tackles, including a quarterback sack, while knocking down four passes. In 50 career games, the Wendell, NC native amassed 121 defensive tackles and five interceptions, while forcing a fumble. During that time, the former South Carolina University Gamecock also cumulated 19 special teams tackles.


"We are extremely happy to have added players of this caliber to our team. These are players who are relentless on the field and appreciated by their teammates in the locker room. They will fit perfectly in the type of team we are putting together", said Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed.
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BC

(Vancouver) The BC Lions Football Club today announced that international free agent defensive back A.J.Jefferson has signed a 2018 contract with the team.

Jefferson (6’0”, 190) is set to enter his fourth CFL season having spent a portion of the 2017 campaign with Ottawa preceded by a pair of seasons with the Toronto Argonauts. Seeing action in 32 regular season games he’s tallied 95 career tackles and six interceptions.

A.J. is another veteran defensive back who brings a lot of tools to our team,” said GM Ed Hervey. “Hes a skilled guy who understands the nuances of the corner position in our league. Hes also demonstrated the ability to make plays on the ball which is something we definitely more of this season.” 


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BC

(Vancouver) The BC Lions Football Club today announced that international free agent defensive tackle Euclid Cummings has signed a 2018 contract with the team.

Spending the 2017 season with the Edmonton Eskimos recording 21 defensive stops and eight sacks, Cummings enters his fifth CFL season in 2018. The Georgia Tech product began his career with the Toronto Argonauts in 2014 and played two seasons with the Double Blue before moving to Winnipeg in 2016. Through 53 games he’s tallied 62 tackles and 19 sacks.

“Euclid is a young, up-and-coming lineman who definitely has the ability and potential to be one of most dominant interior players in the league,” said GM Ed Hervey. “He’s equally skilled at playing the run and getting to the quarterback and never takes a play off.”
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OTTAWA
  
OTTAWA -  The Ottawa REDBLACKS have signed international free agent defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy to a one-year contract, the club announced Tuesday.

Purifoy, 25, comes to Ottawa after two seasons with the BC Lions. Last year, he recorded 49 defensive tackles and three interceptions while playing in all 18 games. 

"Loucheiz is a skilled player that makes impact plays on the field," said REDBLACKS Head Coach Rick Campbell. "We're excited that he's joining the REDBLACKS."
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WINNIPEG

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed national running back Kienan LaFrance to a one-year contract. The Winnipeg-born, University of Manitoba Bisons product spent last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
LaFrance (5-9, 205, Manitoba, June 16, 1991 in Winnipeg, MB) was originally selected in the sixth round, 45th overall, by Ottawa in the 2015 CFL Draft. LaFrance enters his fourth CFL season in 2018 and has recorded 111 carries for 453 yards and two touchdowns, while also registering 28 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
HAMILTON
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Tuesday that the football club has signed free agent national placekicker and punter Lirim Hajrullahu.
Hajrullahu, 27, appeared in all 18 regular season games with the Toronto Argonauts last season, converting 47-of-58 field goal attempts (81.0%), all 36 of his single convert attempts, and averaging 44.0 yards per punt on 112 attempts. The 5-11, 205-pound native of St. Catherines, Ontario, also suited up in two games in the playoffs for the Argos, making two of his three field goal attempts, including the game-winning 32-yard field goal with 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter in the 105th Grey Cup.

In 71 career CFL games over four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2014-15) and Argonauts (2016-17), Hajrullahu has converted 146-of-178 field goals (82.0%) and 114-of-123 single convert attempts (92.7%), while averaging 44.1 yards per punt on 450 attempts. He was named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2014 and an East Division All-Star in 2016.

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OTTAWA

OTTAWA -  The Ottawa REDBLACKS have signed international free agent defensive lineman A.C. Leonard to a one-year contract, the club announced Tuesday.

Leonard, 26, spent the last two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders after  where he had 66 defensive tackles, 10 sacks and a forced fumble in 33 games.

“A.C. is a dynamic pass rusher and we’re looking forward to seeing him get after the quarterbacks this year,” said REDBLACKS Head Coach Rick Campbell.

The CFL Free Agency period officially opened at noon on Tuesday.
 
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WINNIPEG

WINNIPEG, MB., February 13, 2018 –  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms with National receiver Nic Demski to one-year contract.
Demski (6-0, 210, Manitoba, May 14, 1993 in Winnipeg, MB) was originally selected in the first round, sixth overall, by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2015 CFL Draft. He has spent the past three seasons with the Riders, playing in 40 career games and recording 69 receptions for 725 yards and three touchdowns.
Demski also registered 84 punt returns for 729 yards and one touchdown through his first three CFL seasons.
The 2017 season saw him play in nine regular season games including six starts, while hauling in 19 receptions for 222 yards and one major. Demski suffered an injury in week 11 and missed the remainder of the season.
The Winnipeg native spent four seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons and was named a CIS All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star in all four seasons.
EDMONTON
(Edmonton) - The Edmonton Eskimos have re-signed national linebacker Adam Konar through the 2019 season.

Through his first three seasons in the CFL, all with Edmonton, Konar has appeared in 23 games and has recorded 68 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.

In 2017, Konar broke onto the scene when he appeared in 12 games and recorded 63 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. In the West Semi-Final and West Final, the U of C alum, recorded 12 total tackles.

"I'm really excited to be back in Edmonton for the next two seasons," said Eskimos linebacker Adam Konar. "My goal now is to help the club win the Grey Cup at home."

EDMONTON
(Edmonton) - The Edmonton Eskimos have signed free agent international defensive lineman Alex Bazzie through the 2019 season.
Bazzie returned to the CFL this past season after spending the beginning of the year in the NFL with the Colts, Panthers, and Cardinals, and appeared in six games where he recorded 14 tackles and three quarterback sacks.

In four seasons, all with BC, Bazzie has appeared in 56 games and has recorded 105 tackles, 32 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Bazzie earned West All-Star honours in 2016 when he appeared in 18 games and recorded 31 tackles, 11 sacks, and one forced fumble.


BC

(Vancouver) The BC Lions Football Club today announced that international free agent offensive tackle Joel Figueroa (pronounced Jo-el) has signed a contract with the team.

Originally entering the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2013, the University of Miami grad spent the past two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos. Set to enter his sixth pro season, Figueroa (6’6”, 320) has appeared in 44 regular season games, eight playoff tilts as well as a pair of Grey Cup title games.

Joel brings a level of physicality and the kind of gritty attitude that we need to add to our offensive line,” said GM Ed Hervey. “Hes absolutely committed to doing everything it takes to protect the quarterback.”     


SASKATCHEWAN

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed national offensive lineman Dan Clark to a two-year contract extension keeping him with the team through 2019.            

Clark (6’2 – 310) will remain with the Riders for his sixth CFL season after originally joining the club as a territorial junior in 2009. The 29-year-old Regina native has played 79 career regular-season games, four playoff games and the 2013 Grey Cup with the Green and White after making his pro debut August 19, 2012.  

Last season, Clark started the first six games of the regular season at centre. After missing the next nine games due to injury, Clark returned to start the final three regular-season contests and two playoff games at centre.           

Clark was eligible to become a free agent today


HAMILTON

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Tuesday that the football club has re-signed national defensive tackle Ted Laurent to a two-year contract. Laurent was eligible to become a free agent at 12 p.m. (noon) today.

Laurent, 30, made 12 starts at defensive tackle for the Tiger-Cats last season, posting 13 defensive tackles, four quarterback sacks, five quarterback pressures one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.

The 6-1, 299-pound native of Powder Springs, Georgia, has appeared in 110 career CFL games (92 starts) during his seven-year career with the Edmonton Eskimos (2011-13) and Tiger-Cats, registering 150 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, 35 quarterback sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Laurent is a two-time CFL All-star (2014, 2015), four-time Divisional All-Star (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) and was named the Tiger-Cats Most Outstanding Canadian in both 2014 and 2015.

The University of Mississippi product was originally selected by the Eskimos in the 2011 CFL Supplemental Draft in exchange for a second round pick in the 2012 CFL Draft. His Tiger-Cats tenure began on June 1, 2014, when he signed as a free agent.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Tuesday that the football club has re-signed international linebacker Larry Dean. Dean was eligible to become a free agent at 12 p.m. (noon) today.

Dean, 29, earned East Division All-Star honours last season, and was named Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player. He registered 96 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles, three quarterback sacks, eight quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five pass knock downs and one tackle for loss in 18 games in 2017 with the Tiger-Cats. The 6-0, 226-pound native of Tifton, Georgia, finished tied for second in the CFL in forced fumbles and was fourth in defensive tackles.


CALGARY

The Calgary Stampeders have signed international kick returner and running back Roy Finch to a contract that runs through the 2019 season. The CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, Finch had been eligible to become a free agent today at 10 a.m. MST.

Finch joined the Stamps in 2016 after beginning his CFL career with the Ottawa RedBlacks. The Niceville, Fla., native's 2017 season included 26 kickoff returns for 696 yards and 73 punt returns for a team-record 1,200 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. He led the league in both punt-return yards and punt-return average. 

Offensively, Finch added 21 carries for 114 yards and 18 receptions for 133 yards along with a two-point convert. In addition to being voted the league's top special-teams player, he was named a CFL all-star.

In his CFL career, Finch has played 34 games - including 29 with the Stampeders - and has 4,597 combined return yards. That total includes 151 punt returns for 2,247 yards and four touchdowns, 86 kickoff returns for 2,124 yards and seven missed-field goal returns for 216 yards.

"Roy has established himself as an elite returner in this league and I'm very pleased that he is remaining with the Red and White," said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. 

"I look forward to another great season from Roy on special teams in addition to his contributions on offence as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield."


EDMONTON

(Edmonton) - The Edmonton Eskimos have extended international cornerback Johnny Adams through 2019 and international defensive back Forrest Hightower through 2018 seasons.

Adams appeared in 15 games this past season where he finished third on the team in tackles with 65 and also recorded two interceptions. In the West Semi-Final and West Final, Adams recorded a total of nine tackles.

In four CFL seasons, the Michigan State alum has appeared in 42 games and has recorded 174 total tackles, nine interceptions and one touchdown.

This past season, Hightower appeared in 10 games where he recorded 21 tackles and one interception. In the West Semi-Final and West Final, Adams recorded a total of three tackles.


MONTREAL

The Montreal Alouettes have re-signed international kicker Boris Bede, national defensive back Tevaughn Campbell as well as offensive linemen Matt Vonk (national) and Xavier Fulton (international).

Bede (6'4'', 225 lbs.) returns to the Alouettes for a fourth season after establishing a new CFL record with an average of 69 yards on kickoffs in 2017. The 28-year-old also made 29 of 35 field goals while converting 18 out of 20 touchdowns. He also cumulated 4,506 yards on 102 kickoffs, maintaining an average of 44.2 yards per kick. He also pinned opponents inside their own ten-yard line on eight occasions.

Campbell (6'0'', 195 lbs.) 
was acquired by the Alouettes last August before becoming the first national starting corner on a regular basis for the Alouettes since Davis Sanchez in 2009. In nine starts, the 24-year-old made 13 defensive tackles and one interception, while adding three special teams tackles to his total. A member of the Canada national rugby sevens team, the former University of Regina Ram amassed 32 defensive tackles in 32 career games with Montreal, Calgary and Saskatchewan. He also pilfered two passes, including one for a touchdown, made a sack and collected eight special teams tackles.

Vonk (6'4", 295 lbs.) was traded to the Alouettes in June 2017 in exchange for wide receiver Denzel Radford. The former Waterloo University Warrior played nine games with the Alouettes in 2017 before his season came to an abrupt end following an injury sustained on August 24. He played three seasons with the Roughriders after being a fifth round pick (38th total) by Saskatchewan in 2013. The 27 year-old, Burlington, ON native, played 36 career games in the CFL.

Fulton (6'5", 287 lbs.) played five games with the Alouettes in 2017, all as a starter. The former Illinois University student joined the Alouettes last September 2017 and was quickly called upon following multiple injuries suffered on the Alouettes offensive line. The 31-year-old was originally a fifth round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL Draft. He had stints with Washington, Indianapolis and San Francisco before joining the Edmonton Eskimos in 2012. He was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he played five seasons and won the 2013 Grey Cup. In 2016, he was traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Chicago, IL native played 88 career games in the CFL.

Bede, Vonk and Fulton signed one-year deals with the club, while Campbell agreed to a two-year contract.


TORONTO

TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts announced today that the team has signed international defensive back Johnny Sears Jr. to a one-year contract extension through the 2018 season.
“Johnny was an impact player whenever he touched the field for us in 2017 and we look forward to having him back onboard for the upcoming season,” said Argos GM Jim Popp.
Sears, 30, started seven games for the Argos in 2017, recording 28 defensive tackles, one tackle for a loss, one sack, two quarterback pressures, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and two pass knockdowns. The 6-1, 193-pound native of Fresno, California, missed the remaining games due to injury and was listed as a reserve in both of the team’s postseason games.
CALGARY
The Calgary Stampeders have signed international defensive back Emanuel Davis.

Davis has spent the past five seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was an East Division all-star in 2015 and 2016.

The 28-year-old Davis has played in 61 career regular-season games, totaling 191 defensive tackles, 24 special-teams tackles, 10 interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 10 touchdowns, 29 knockdowns and one sack. He has also played in five playoff games and one Grey Cup game.

Appearing in six games in 2017, Davis posted 18 defensive tackles, one forced fumble and one knockdown.

"Emanuel is a playmaker who has versatility and can play both as a halfback and cornerback," said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. "He comes highly recommended as a quality, hard-working player who gets the job done."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Word on the street in that Zack Evans will be back in green and white now that cap space was opened with the release of Derek Dennis.

Morgan said...

Looks like 2018 will be an even better season for the riders than 2017 was!!! The oskee wee wee look to be in some serious trouble though! Go Riders Go!!!

Anonymous said...

Might be worth bringing veteran Keith Shologan in for a look at camp to serve as a back-up for Evans.

Anonymous said...

It is always wonderful to see teams sign players from their home towns! Winnipeg is looking real good in that department, as are the Riders.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Winnipeg is loading up with ex Rider players. Interesting.....

Lewis Grant said...

What about Bruce Campbell? Releasing Dennis is a good idea IF Campbell is back. If not, then we're in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

Riders cannot be done. We have a gap at Left Tackle. I am betting Bruce Gamble and Derick Dennis have a same dollar offer on the table. First to accept gets the signed. Another gap is at Fullback/Running Back where Greg Morris and Kienan Lafrance. Could a low ball offer be on the table for Jerome Messam be on the table. Riders put Johnny Augustine on the Neg list for a reason and both guys play the same and will fit in with Marshall and Richardson. It is interesting the Riders have not had any announcements from their Tryout camps. Riderville shows they have been active.....nice to see Omar Morgan's name. He might have a more active role scouting down the road. I expect we have some lower priced stars comin yet. With the release of the 3 today for cap reasons something still could be happening.

Anonymous said...

What about Otha Foster? I know he was injured after coming back from the NFL. He's still a FA. Is his injury serious and that's why he hasn't signed anywhere? Thank you.