- Free Agency
MONTREAL — What started as a calm and cool Monday in mid-January quickly morphed into something CFL fans aren’t so accustomed to seeing.
First, former Tiger-Cats Head Coach George Cortez found work in Saskatchewan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Not even an hour later, the Montreal Alouettes made a major splash in the free agency pool, signing recently released Lions Arland Bruce and Byron Parker, as well as former Ticat QB Quinton Porter.
It was an off-season Monday worth remembering, as the Alouettes, Eskimos and Roughriders all made significant moves to set up what should be a riveting 2013 season.
Finally, the Edmonton Eskimos capped off a busy Monday by releasing Steven Jyles.
Needless to say, fans are in desperate need of a breather following all of Monday’s action. And just in case you may have missed any of the moves, or wonder what they might mean for your team, CFL.ca has put together a Manic Monday Recap for your reading pleasure.
10:54 am ET: Roughriders name Cortez Offensive Coordinator
He had been dismissed of his duties as Head Coach of the Ticats just over two months ago, but there was a belief that he would re-surface somewhere else across the league.
Cortez, who has earned a reputation of being an elite offensive mind, was someone who Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin just couldn’t let fall into the grasps of another team.
“This was an opportunity that was too good to pass up,” Riders head coach Corey Chamblin said Monday.
“If it had been any other offensive coordinator, it wouldn’t have happened. When you have what I believe and have believed since 2007 to be one of the best, if not the best offensive minds in the league, that’s something that you have do.”
Last season saw Cortez lead the Tiger-Cats to a league-best 538 points, an 81-point difference than the Roughriders.
Suffice to say, it was an interesting way to kick off a Monday.
11:47 am ET: Als sign Bruce, Parker and Porter
Before the clock struck noon and everyone had been able to digest and analyze the Cortez announcement, the Montreal Alouettes made what most people believe to be the day’s biggest and most impactful news.
Veterans Bruce III and Parker – who had been released by the Lions on Friday – as well as former Hamilton pivot Quinton Porter were scooped up and signed to deals, joining an Alouettes group that is never afraid of adding a little extra firepower to their repertoire.
At first glance, the arrival of Parker should help give the Als some needed veteran presence in their secondary, something the Alouettes seemed to have lacked in 2012.
Bruce III, meanwhile, joins an Alouettes receiving corps that is already among the best in the league.
“This team has a lot of history, so I know I have to go prove myself to show that I am a dominant player, but I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Bruce told the Montreal media.
And Porter, who for years bounced around the Ticats depth chart, will have the opportunity to learn behind one of the game’s all-time greats in Anthony Calvillo.
4:35 pm ET: Green and Gold release QB Steven Jyles
Arguably the most intriguing news of the day arrived courtesy of the Edmonton Eskimos, as they parted ways with Steven Jyles after just one season.
Jyles leaves Edmonton just over a year after being traded to the Esks organization as the key return piece in the Ricky Ray trade.
“Steven is an outstanding professional that did everything asked of him. We really appreciate his professionalism and commitment to the team,” said Head Coach Kavis Reed.
During his stint in Alberta’s capital the journeyman, who will once again be looking for a new home, registered 1,756 passing yards, as well as six touchdowns and six interceptions.
While he did miss some time due to injury, he ultimately fell out of favor with Esks Head Coach Kavis Reed, as he was the odd-man-out in a three-way QB battle featuring Matt Nichols and Kerry Joseph.
So which ‘Manic Monday’ move shocked you most? Have your say below!