January 23, 2016

Checking Down: Sinkfield heading south?


TORONTO — Almost a week later, the fallout in Riderville following the departure of John Chick and Weston Dressler continues. Where will the former Rider stars land, and what’s in store for the other Rider veterans still on the roster?

Meanwhile, could Terrell Sinkfield be on his way out of Hamilton?

Elsewhere we check in on the latest from 2015 leading receiver Eric Rogers, legendary CFL receiver Ben Cahoon and the progress of Zach Collaros in his injury rehab.

Find out the latest in a busy CFL off-season with Checking Down:

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– The Lions have been busy extending the contracts of key players this off-season, including Manny Arceneaux, Ryan Phillips and Jovan Olafioye. Some big names still remain however, writes Brian Wawryshyn of BC Lions Den.

– With Phillips and Arcneaux back under contract along with Adam Bighill to lead the linebackers, the Lions have a strong veteran core in place entering the 2016 season. BCLions.com has thoughts from the three of them as the off-season continues.

– With continuity on the defensive side of the ball, Lions defensive coordinator Mark Washington believes his team will have an elite defence in 2016.

– Khari Jones took things personally after being demoted as the Lions’ offensive coordinator in 2014, but now, writes Josh Clipperton of the Canadian Press,  the former CFL quarterback is getting another chance. Jones was promoted from receivers coach back to offensive coordinator this off-season.


– A week after finally landing their defensive coordinator, the Eskimos made another important coaching hire on Sunday with the addition of Mike Gibson.

– In an interview with CHED‘s Dave Campbell, Gibson says he’s most excited to work with new Eskimos head coach Jason Maas following his illustrious playing career and what he called a meteoric rise in the coaching ranks.


– The Stampeders have announced that Bo Levi Mitchell has been honoured with the Herm Harrison Memorial Award, given annually to a Stamps player who distinguishes himself in the field of community service.

– Jerome Messam says he’d like to return to Calgary if possible. Hear more from the pending free agent from his latest interview with Mark Stephen on CHQR 770.

– The Calgary Stampeders have officially released Eric Rogers, who they confirmed Wednesday is expected to sign with an NFL team. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter is reporting Rogers will sign with the San Francisco 49ers.

– After initially working out Rogers with the Eagles, Chip Kelly continued to recruit the star receiver at his new job as head coach of the 49ers. The Calgary Sun‘s Scott Mitchell has more on how Kelly convinced Rogers to sign in the Bay Area.

– According to TSN‘s Gary Lawless, the Stampeders and the Bombers are two teams that have inquired on the recently-released Weston Dressler. With Jeff Fuller slated for free agency on Feb. 9 and Eric Rogers departed, it’s highly possible the Stamps turn to free agency to add some veteran experience to that receiving corps.

The Stamps have reportedly extended the contract of defensive lineman Micah Johnson, according to the Calgary Sun‘s Scott Mitchell. The 27-year-old played in 11 games last season and registered 32 tackles, six sacks and a forced fumble — all career highs.


– The Riders scratched another name off their pending free agents list, signing an extension with national defensive back Dan West on Thursday. The Riders also signed punter Josh Bartel, who will join the Riders for a second stint after playing for the team in 2014.

– A day after Riders assistant GM John Murphy said Darian Durant is the Riders’ starting quarterback, the Riders announced a re-structured contract for Durant that’ll keep him in Riderville through 2016.

– Chris Jones continues filling out the Riders roster in the wake of some big-name releases. On Tuesday the Riders announced the signing of four international rookies: Defensive back Curtis Brown, defensive end Ryan Jones, offensive lineman Joseph Treadwell and running back Devrin Young.


– After last week reportedly showing interest in receiver Duron Carter, TSN‘s Gary lawless says Winnipeg has also inquired on recently-released Riders Weston Dressler and John Chick. (UPDATE: Lawless and Kirk Penton are reporting the Bombers are close to signing Dressler).


TSN‘s Gary Lawless is reporting that Terrell Sinkfield is on his way out of Hamilton after signing with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Sinkfield is a pending free agent on Feb. 9 after two strong seasons with the Ticats.

– Zach Collaros continues working on his comeback after suffering a season-ending torn ACL last season, while on Tuesday TSN‘s Matthew Scianitti reported the Ticats’ pivot had his 11-week assessment and everything looks good.

The Ticats announced a contract extension on Tuesday for Head Coach and General Manager Kent Austin, who according to TSN’s Gary Lawless is signed up for four years. Lawless also reported that Austin had received multiple NFL position coach offers along with NCAA interest before agreeing to re-up with Hamilton.


– While Brandon Whitaker and Curtis Steele remain pending free agents, the Argos were busy adding two running backs on Tuesday with the addition of national back Dillon Campbell, a 2015 CFL Draft Pick, and international running back Edwin Baker.

The Argos announced Monday the addition of Spencer Zimmerman to their front office. Zimmerman will become the director of scouting and professional development after spending four seasons with the Ticats under Kent Austin.

Johany Jutras/CFL

– The REDBLACKS made two additions to their coaching staff on Tuesday, as Jean-Marc Edmé joins the team as the new player personnel coordinator while Beau Walker becomes the new offensive assistant.

– Ottawa also locked up Chris Milo an extra year, extending the veteran kicker’s contract through 2017. The team also announced the signing of international linebacker John Kanongata’a.


– A day after extending the contract of CFL sack leader John Bowman, the Alouettes are reportedly talking to another one of the league’s top pass rushers in John Chick, according to TSN‘s Gary Lawless. Chick was released last week and would immediately give the Als one of the top pass rushes around. Also in on Chick are reportedly the Ticats and Bombers.

John Bowman officially extended his contract with the Alouettes on Monday despite a tumultuous 2015 season, one in which he was benched and reportedly told he ‘has reached his expiration date’. After re-upping for one season, Bowman said he re-signed because the Als ‘respected him’.

– Former Alouettes star receiver Ben Cahoon is returning to coaching, taking a job as a receivers coach with his alma mater BYU. Cahoon also coached there from 2011 to 2012 in the same position following a prolific Hall of Fame CFL career.

– The Als’ off-season continues to heat up. A day after announcing the signing of home town free agent Dominic Picard, the Als agreed with 10th all-time leading receiver Nic Lewis on an extension.

– According to a tweet by Tanner Marsh himself, Marsh has been released by the Alouettes. The Als quarterback spent three years in Montreal.