As Tuesday's free agency deadline nears, CFL.ca is breaking down each team’s potential needs, wants and wish lists. Today we take a look at the Calgary Stampeders.
If free agency is supposed to be the busiest day of the off-season, someone better notify John Hufnagel. The Stamps’ general manager and head coach has been chipping away at his rather lengthy list of potential FAs all off-season. A total of 10 extensions have been granted to those who will remain in Red and White.
For the most part, the Stamps are in pretty good shape heading into Tuesday even if they don’t make any more signings before their players hit the market. Ideally, inking defensive lineman Cordarro Law would make life a lot easier for the Stampeders brass so they can shift their focus to potentially signing from the pool.
The work done so far:
To date, the Stampeders have been able to retain more potential FAs than any other CFL club; coming to terms on contract extensions for WR Jabari Arthur, DB Fred Bennett, DL Demonte’ Bolden, LB Randy Chevrier, RB Rob Cote, DB Jeff Hecht, WR Maurice Price, LB Juwan Simpson, RB Tim St. Pierre and DB Jamar Wall.
They did however lose veteran offensive lineman Dimitri Tsoumpas who announced his retirement in January.
As it sits Monday, the Stampeders have six players under contract with the team that may not be come Noon ET on Tuesday. Defensively, DB Chris Randle, LB Malik Jackson, Etienne Legare and the aforementioned Law are set to hit the open market. There are also a pair of Canadian receivers, Johnny Forzani and Anthony Parker that are also set to enter free agency.
Who may be on the radar:
Even though they were still able to win the West with Tsoumpas on the nine-game injured list last year, his absence will still be felt now that he has retired. If Calgary is looking to find a solid offensive tackle, Josh Bourke could be an option although he is likely the most expensive and sought-after offensive lineman in this pool of free agents.
The loss of either Forzani, Parker or both could weigh large especially in the ratio game. The Stamps may want to look at a replacement like Akeem Foster who was solid in BC before being shipped to Winnipeg midway through last season.
If one were to breakdown the Stamps depth chart as it stands right now, Hecht is likely the starting safety with Eric Fraser now property of the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Kyries Hebert could be a veteran option. He has made plays wherever he lines up whether it was at linebacker or safety where he played in 2012. He is also a menace on special teams and a leader in the locker room.