February 8, 2014

2014 Free Agent Forecast: Edmonton Eskimos

CFL.ca Staff

As free agency nears, CFL.ca is breaking down each team’s potential needs, wants and wish lists. Today we take a look at the Edmonton Eskimos.

Since taking over as General Manager prior to last season, Ed Hervey has made it his personal mission to bring a championship back to the city of champions.

And while his first season at the Esks’ helm proved that it won’t be such an easy task, Hervey appears keen on moving forward towards the ultimate prize.

The Work Done So Far:

Since hiring Chris Jones to replace former head coach Kavis Reed almost immediately after the 101st Grey Cup, Hervey has been slowly crossing items off of his off-season to-do list.

With just 11 players to make decisions on, Hervey has signed four pending free agents to new deals.

First, Hervey locked up both cornerback Joe Burnett and tailback Hugh Charles on the same day, and then followed that up with the signings of backup pivot Matt Nichols and safety Michael Miller one day later.

He then inked defensive tackle Almondo Sewell to an extension as well.

Prior to those four announcements, however, Hervey made sure one of his key offensive weapons remained in the fold, handing slotback Adarius Bowman a new two-year contract.

Potential Departures:

But as always, there’s still work to be done. Still unsigned for the Eskimos are a few significant names that have provided some positive contributions to the Esks during their last few seasons.

Offensively, the Esks still haven’t come to terms with receivers Cary Koch and Matt Carter, or offensive linemen Orrin Thompson and Scott Mitchell.

On the defensive side of the ball, stalwarts like linebacker Damaso Munoz, and defensive tackle Ted Laurent are currently on pace to hit the open market as well.

There hasn’t been any news regarding the aforementioned players, so it’s still very possible that Hervey is still in negotiations with his remaining unsigned assets.

Other Notables: Brandon Lang, DE

Who Might Be On Their Radar?:

Last season saw the Eskimos give up the second most sacks in the league with 60, so there’s no denying that they need some help in protecting QB Mike Reilly.

Should they deem that they need to look outside to solidify their fortress around Reilly, then it’s possible they go after the likes of Montreal’s Josh Bourke, who spent the last several years of his career keeping Anthony Calvillo upright.