February 8, 2017

Checking Down: A farewell season for Nik Lewis?

Dominick Gravel/Montreal Alouettes

TORONTO — The CFL schedule has been revealed, while fans are wondering about Nik Lewis’ future following his tweets.

Plus, what’s the latest on free agency less than a week out from Feb. 14?

We have the latest in Checking Down:

Jump to team:

BC | Calgary | Edmonton | Saskatchewan | Winnipeg | Hamilton | Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal


Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca

It appears the Lions will have Nick Moore back in their receiving corps in 2017 (Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca)

– The Lions have reportedly signed offensive lineman Hunter Steward to a one-year deal (Farhan Lalji, TSN).

– While Bryan Burnham has NFL options, a return to the CFL might might make the most sense for one of the top free agents (Gary Lawless, TSN).

– Lalji also reports that Nick Moore has signed a new deal with the team. Meanwhile, Jabar Westerman will test free agency and Anthony Allen will not return (Farhan Lalji, TSN).

– Extending Bryant Turner Jr. is key for a Lions team that stands to lose Mic’hael Brooks and Jabar Westerman after Feb. 14 (Mike Beamish, Vancouver Sun).

– According to Derek Taylor, Lions’ recently-added kicker/punter Swayze Waters could make a huge impact on the west coast (Derek Taylor, TSN).


Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

Mike Reilly and the Esks will take on the BC Lions in their 2017 season-opener (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– Following Tuesday’s schedule release, Esks president Len Rhodes says he’ll continue to emphasize the need to start the CFL season earlier (Morley Scott, CHED).

– The consensus out of Edmonton is the Esks have a balanced schedule, with five games over the summer months and four in the fall (Edmonton Sun).



Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps seek revenge with a Grey Cup rematch to start the season (The Canadian Press)

– The Stampeders will be tested early in 2017, starting their campaign with a Grey Cup rematch in back-to-back weeks (CFL.ca).

– Despite his passport, Derek Dennis is the CFL’s top offensive lineman and should cash in should he hit the open market (CFL.ca).

– Speaking of Dennis, it appears likely he’ll hit the open market as he and the Stamps reportedly remain far apart in talks (Gary Lawless, TSN).



The Riders will play their first regular season game at new Mosaic on Canada Day (Riderville.com)

– The Riders reportedly will not be pursuing recently-released Als quarterback Rakeem Cato (Rod Pedersen, CKRM).

– Saskatchewan’s season-opener highlights an exciting slate of Week 1 games as the Riders visit their former quarterback in Darian Durant (CFL.ca).

– Als’ offensive assistant Anthony Calvillo sees a different side of Duron Carter, the CFL’s all-time leading passer says (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader Post)

– With cap space and pressure to win, Gary Lawless suspects the Riders may be big players in free agency (Gary Lawless, TSN).


Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

Matt Nichols and the Bombers will be the first regular season visitor to new Mosaic Stadium (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– After opening with a bye, Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller is excited for his team to be the first visitor to new Mosaic Stadium in Week 2 (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).

– If Euclid Cummings doesn’t extend, a defensive tackle could be a target at first overall for the Bombers in the CFL Draft (Gary Lawless, TSN).

– Jason Vega has signed a one day contract and officially retired as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber (CFL.ca).

– Rumour says the Bombers are not likely to sign linebacker Khalil Bass to a contract extension (Gary Lawless, TSN).


David Chidley/CFL.ca

Xavier Fulton has inked a deal that will keep him in Hamilton (David Chidley/CFL.ca)

– International offensive tackle Xavier Fulton has signed an extension with the Ticats (CFL.ca).

– Ticats receiver Luke Tasker says he’s focused on making a full recovery after his injury struggle at the end of 2016 (Katrina Squazzin, Ticats.ca).

– Hundreds turned up to attend the funeral of Devin Scullion, who passed away at age 20 after fighting a rare genetic disorder (Jon Wells, Hamilton Spectator).

– Pending free agent Terrence Toliver should be among the most coveted receivers should he hit the market on Feb. 14 (CFL.ca).


Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca

Shawn Lemon and the Argos will open their season at BMO Field vs. the Ticats (Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca)

– Former Oakland Raiders assistant GM David Turner, who has ties with Marc Trestman, has been linked to the Argos’ open GM job (Farhan Lalji, TSN).

– The Argos’ Week 1 clash with Hamilton renews one of the league’s fiercest rivalries at BMO Field (CFL.ca).



Greg Ellingson is among REDBLACKS potentially headed for free agency on Feb. 14 (CFL.ca)

– Word out of Ottawa is the REDBLACKS are unlikely to sign any of their remaining pending free agents before Feb. 14 (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).

– Abdul Kanneh, one of the league’s top shutdown halfbacks, is expected to garner plenty of interest if he isn’t signed before free agency (CFL.ca).


Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

Als receiver Nik Lewis is about to enter his 14th CFL season (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– Will the 2017 season be the last for Nik Lewis? The veteran receiver sent out a cryptic tweet following Tuesday’s schedule release, then later expanded on it.

– The Alouettes have made a dramatic shift in leadership going from Duron Carter and Rakeem Cato to Darian Durant and Anthony Calvillo leading the way (Wray Morrison, CKOM).

– Als quarterback coach Anthony Calvillo says he’s really looking forward to working with Darian Durant (Murray McCormick, Regina Leader Post).