December 18, 2019

Checking Down: News and notes from the off-season

TORONTO — The coaching changes around the CFL continue as two new bench bosses have been hired.

Ryan Dinwiddie joins the Toronto Argonauts as their head coach while Scott Milanovich returns to the CFL as the man in charge in Edmonton.

Plus, pending free agents have started to sign extensions with their respective teams as their contract expiration date in February looms.

The latest news and notes from the off-season in this week’s Checking Down:

Jump to team:

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


Shaq Johnson headlines the list of BC Lions pending free agents (Jimmy Jeong/

– A new bench boss could be the key for the BC Lions to turn things around following a 5-13 campaign as they set their sights on the opening of free agency (

– The Lions announced on Monday that the team has signed National running back Andrew Pocrnic (



– The Edmonton Eskimos have named Scott Milanovich as head coach, the 22nd in team history last week (

– The Esks announced on Wednesday that defensive coordinator Phillip Lolley has resigned due to personal reasons (


Ucambre Williams returns to the Stampeders on a new two-year deal (Larry MacDougal/

– While Reggie Begelton leads the list of free agents, the Calgary Stampeders are in good shape heading into the off-season ( 

– The Calgary Stampeders agreed to a contract extension with American defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade (

– The team also signed American offensive lineman Ucambre Williams to a two-year contract that runs through the 2021 season (


GM Jeremy O’Day announced the rest of his football operations staff this week (

– In roster news, the Riders signed national running back Kienan LaFrance to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the Club through the 2021 season (

– The team has also signed national defensive back Shamar Busby and national running back Atlee Simon (

– Riders GM Jeremy O’Day announced the rest of the team’s football operations staff for the 2020 season last week (


Mike O’Shea has signed an extension to remain the head coach of the Blue Bombers (Johany Jutras/

– Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill took the Grey Cup to a local hockey practice in Winnipeg on Monday (

– In roster news, the Bombers inked receiver Drew Wolitarsky to a two-year deal on Sunday (

– He’s a receiver and he’s a musician and now Wolitarsky is a Blue Bomber for the next two years (Ed Tait,

– The Bombers agreed to contract extensions with both General Manager Kyle Walters and Head Coach Mike O’Shea last Friday (

–’s Ed Tait spoke to Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea following his new contract to stay with Winnipeg through the 2022 season (

– Winnipeg signed pending free agent offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick to a new one-year contract (


Simoni Lawrence took to local Tim Hortons to spread some holiday cheer this off-season (Geoff Robins/

– Ahead of the holiday season, Ticats defenders Simoni Lawrence and Delvin Breaux took to local Tim Hortons in Hamilton for a little friendly competition ( 

– In roster news, the Ticats added eight nationals to their roster on Wednesday (



– The Toronto Argonauts parted ways with head coach Corey Chamblin and replaced him with former Stampeders assistant Ryan Dinwiddie (

– Newly appointed head coach Ryan Dinwiddie knows there’s work to be done in turning around the Argos in 2020 (

– With Ryan Dinwiddie bound for Toronto as the new head coach, could other former Calgary Stampeders follow? (Pat Steinberg,

– As Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons oversees his first off-season as a general manager, the next few months promise plenty of excitement for Toronto Argonauts fans (

– In roster news, the Argos have signed a handful of player including a pair of Canadian DBs, Dondre Wright and Abu Conteh (



– The REDBLACKS have hired Mike Benevides as the team’s new defensive coordinator (

– In other coaching news, the REDBLACKS announced last Thursday that Bob Dyce will return for a fifth season as the team’s special teams coordinator, and Bob Wylie will join the club as offensive line coach (

– In roster news, Ottawa has signed Canadian offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan to a two-year contract extension (


Shaq Murray-Lawrence will return to the Alouettes with a new contract in hand in 2020 (Matt Smith/

– Winnipeg Blue Bombers director of college scouting Ryan Rigmaiden has turned down the Montreal Alouettes’ offer to become their next general manager, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji (

– In roster news, the team signed Canadian running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence and Canadian offensive lineman Zach Wilkinson to new contracts (

– The Montreal Alouettes announced on Wednesday that, at the CFL’s request, they have suspended the process to hire a new GM, due to limitations that stem from the sale of the team (