EDMONTON — After missing the post-season for the first time since 2010, the Edmonton Eskimos entered the off-season looking to find a way to re-establish themselves as a force in the West Division.
Changes to their coaching staff, as well as some tinkering to their defence headlined what was a busy off-season in Edmonton.
After taking off Edmonton’s sidelines prior to the 2011 season, Kavis Reed was relieved of his duties early in the month.
General Manager Ed Hervey wasted little time finding Reed’s replacement, announcing that Chris Jones would be taking Reed’s spot as the Eskimos’ head coach only three weeks later.
With his new head coach in place, Hervey slowly began adding and subtracting from his roster.
He first put pen to paper with talented slotback Adarius Bowman, signing him to a two-year extension that would keep him in Edmonton through 2015.
Next up were cornerback Joe Burnett and running back Hugh Charles, as both would sign sign two year extensions.
Once the Expansion Draft rolled around, Hervey was forced to part ways with receiver Carlton Mitchell, offensive lineman Alex Krausnick and young rookie defensive end Justin Capicciotti.
Other December Transactions
Re-sign Mike Mitchell, S
The Esks kicked off the new year by announcing the signings of two Canadian linemen in Adam Baboulas and Curtis Deblanko.
Other January Transactions
Signed Nicholas Edwards, WR
Signed Desmond Marrow, DB
Signed Domonique Johnson, CB
Released Kerry Joseph, QB
Once free agency rolled through, Hervey, along with Jones, began adding some much needed depth to their offensive line and defensive secondary.
The duo dipped into the market and plucked out Canadian linemen Andrew Jones and Justin Sorensen, and then addressed their secondary holes by luring talented defensive back Patrick Watkins from the Argonauts.
The Eskimos ended their signings for the month by adding Canadian wide receiver Akeem Foster.
The team then announced the release of linebacker TJ Hill.
Other February Transactions
Signed D’Anthony Batiste, OL
Signed Mathieu Boulay, DE
Signed A.J. Guyton, WR
Released Donovan Alexander, S
Signed Deon Lacey, LB
Signed Denodus O’Bryant, RB
Signed Ryan Rau, LB
March proved to be another quiet month for the Eskimos.
The biggest news for the Esks in the month was the release of seven year veteran Chris Thompson.
Other March Transactions
Signed Cedric McKinley, DT
Signed Daniel Ross, DT
Signed Selvish Capers, OL
Released Chris Thompson, DB
Signed Pat White, QB
Signed Myron Lewis, DB
Signed James Kirkendoll, WR
Released Keith Godding
The Eskimos continued to stand pat throughout the early parts of Spring, as they announced anumber of depth moves, but nothing that would – on the surface – make or break their 2014 campaign.
Other April Transactions
Signed Willie Jefferson, DE
Released Josh Gatlin, DB
Signed Cameron Sheffield, DE
Signed Anthony Barrett, WR
Re-Signed Ryan King, LS
Signed Joe Adams, WR/KR
Signed Mark Dell, WR
Signed Brandon McCrae, WR
Signed Patrick Robertson, WR
Signed Justin Wells, OL
Released Kemonte Bateman, WR
Released Jamar Howard, WR
Released James Kirkendoll, WR
Released Tyrone Novikoff, OL
Released Denodus O’Bryant, RB
Released Robbie Rouse, RB
Following a couple of quiet months, the Eskimos shifted their focus towards the 2014 CFL Draft. Heading into the annual event with the third overall pick, Hervey turned some heads by dealing the pick to Toronto in exchange for the 6th and 15th overall picks, along with offensive lineman Tony Washington.
Hervey used his new top pick to select receiver Devon Bailey,and followed that up by grabbing tailback Aaron Milton in the 15 spot.
|6. Devon Bailey||WR||St. Francis Xavier|
|15. Aaron Milton||RB||Toronto|
|30. Raye Hartmann||DB||St. Francis Xavier|
|48. Zackary Medeiros||K/P||Montreal|
|57. Michael Dadzie||DL||Regina|
Other May Transactions
Signed Tyler Thomas, RB
Released Cliff Louis, OL