February 15, 2013

Recap: Free agency kicks off with a bang


CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — As the markets opened, there were no shortage of transactions on the first day of free agency with over 20 players either electing to stay put or find new homes.

The festivities started off with a huge signing as the Edmonton Eskimos inked Odell Willis shortly after the deadline passed.  Names such as Chad Kackert, Clarence Denmark, Jovan Olafioye, Solomon Elimimian and Tyron Brackenridge ended up staying with their respective teams while the likes of Shomari Williams, Dwight Anderson and Evan McCollough signed contracts with new clubs.

Here is a team-by-team recap of the transactions so far:

BC Lions
The Lions began the day inking a few of already signed players to extensions in the way of Korey Banks and Paris Jackson.  Wally Buono then locked up his two biggest potential free agents, LB Solomon Elimimian and Most Outstanding OL Jovan Olafioye. They also added former Eskimos DL Julius Williams. Read More.
» Lions extend vets DB Banks and WR Jackson
» Buono has work to do heading into free agency

Edmonton Eskimos
The Esks made the first move and arguably the biggest, signing rush end Odell Willis away from Saskatchewan.  They also added some depth to their secondary, signing former Tiger-Cat defensive back Marcell Young. Read More.
» Video: Hervey and Reed React to Willis Signing
» Eskimos add former Ticat DB Marcell Young

 Calgary Stampeders
The Stampeders were probably the most quiet team on day one but they did lock up a key piece of their o-line in Stanley Bryant.  That said, they inked most of thier potential FA’s well before free agency opened. Read More.
» Stampeders re-up with OL Stanley Bryant
» Hufnagel trying to remain ahead of free agency game

Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders started off the day with two defenders parting ways – Odell Willis and Shomari Williams – but they retained arguably their most important asset in Tyron Brackenridge.  They then added both experience and chatter to their secondary by acquiring CB Dwight Anderson formerly of the Alouettes. Read More.
» Remaining Riders likely to test free agent waters
» Taman’s FA focus remains on his own players

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Early in the day, the Bombers finalized paper work on a deal that was reached Thursday to retain DL Bryant Turner.  As the deadline passed, Clarence Denmark quickly re-upped with the club he has spent the last two years with.  They also added Canadian depth along the o-line, signing former Stampeder Mark Dewit.  Read More.
» Dewit signs deal with Blue Bombers
» Turner agrees to terms with Blue Bombers

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Ticats are often big players in the free agent market and this year has been no different after one day.  The Ticats bolstered thier defensive line by adding former first round draft pick Shomari Williams and DL Brian Bulcke.  They then signed DB Evan McCollough away from the rival Argos. Read More.
» Video: Kent Austin Comments on Free Agency
» Shomari Williams goes from Riderville to TigerTown

Toronto Argonauts
Jim Barker and the Argos made their statement later in the afternoon by re-signing RB Chad Kackert, despite reports he was going to sign with the New York Jets.  The Boatmen also added Canadian linebacker James Yurichuk. Read More.
» Video: Kackert Reacts to Signing New Deal in T.O.
» Argos sign hometown product James Yurichuk

Montreal Alouettes
THe Alouettes began the day by retaining DB Seth Williams, DL Moton Hopkins and RB Dharran Diedrick before nabbing CB Geoff Tisdale formerly of the Ticats  They also released DB Jerald Brown. Read More.
» Alouettes sign DB Tisdale and release Jerald Brown
» Popp has tough decisions to make heading into free agency