HAMILTON -- The 2013 season was filled with positives in Hamilton, highlighted by an East Division title and a trip to the 101st Grey Cup.
But just being there - and not winning it - wasn't enough for Kent Austin, which is why the team's head coach and General Manager spent the off-season doing whatever he needed to do to make his Tiger-Cats a permanent contender.
The first item on Austin's off-season to-do list was the 2013 Expansion Draft. After months of preparing, the Ticats could only sit and watch as the REDBLACKS plucked tailback Chevon Walker, fullback John Delahunt and longtime Tiger-Cat Marwan Hage from their grasp.
Once the new year got underway, so did Austin begin to re-tool his roster. First, Hamilton traded receiver Simon Charboneau-Campeau to Calgary in exchange for Spencer Armstrong. Austin then went shopping once again, acquiring the rights to wide receiver Giovanni Aprile for defensive back Matt Bucknor.
Austin also solidified his team's kicking game, signing Justin Medlock, while re-signing Brett Lauther as well.
A few days later, versatile linebacker/defensive back Rico Murray was signed to a contract extension.
With plenty of young burgeoning talent at receiver, Austin was forced to say goodbye to veteran receiver Dave Stala, who days later signed with the Alouettes.
Other January Transactions
Signed Tavoy Moore, RB
Signed Craig Marshall, DL
Signed Kyle Miller, DB
Signed Pawel Kuba, LB
Signed Jay Disdon, WR
Signed Matt Coated, WR
Released Henry Burris, QB
February proved to be an important month for the Ticats.
Prior to the start of free agency, the Ticats shook up their quarterback situation, as they signed former Argos backup Zach Collaros to a contract, and promptly released incumbent starter Henry Burris.
Once the free agency began, Austin continued to be extremely aggressive.
In one day, Austin signed receiver Cary Koch, linebacker/safety Craig Butler, defensive back Brandon Stewart, linebacker Abraham Kromah, and also managed to keep Canadian Marc Beswick from hitting the open market.
After two busy months, Austin's March was quiet by his standards.
In minor moves, Austin shipped QB Brian Brohm to Winnipeg for a conditional 2nd round pick in the 2015 Draft.
Hamilton's only noteworthy April announcement came midway through the month when Marwan Hage, who was selected by the REDBLACKS in the Expansion Draft, announced his retirement.
Other April Transactions
Sign Tyler Tettleton, QB
Sign Kevin Bolden, WR
Sign Dominic Alford, OL
Before the Draft Hamilton, made an eyebrow-raising move, announcing the release of linebacker Brandon Isaac and receiver Onrea Jones,
Below is a look at Hamilton's 2014 CFL Draft selections.
|8. Beau Landry||LB||Western|
|9. Evan Gill||DL||Manitoba|
|44. Christopher Johnson||LB||Toronto|
|52. Mathieu Girard||DL||Montreal|
|53. Stephen Mawa||DL||UBC|
|62. Martin Pesek||DL||Acadia|
Other May Transactions
Release Spencer Armstrong, WR
Release Jason Diston, WR
Release Arthur Hobbs, DB