January 8, 2020

Checking Down: News and notes from the off-season

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca

TORONTO — It may be the off-season, but the buzz around the league has done anything but turn off.

General managers and coaches headed to Blue Mountain this week to take part in the annual winter meetings and shared news about their respective teams.

There could be a new starter in Ottawa if the REDBLACKS can lock in Nick Arbuckle after trading for the pivot’s rights last week.

Plus, Montreal has new owners and a number of star players have been released to pursue opportunities south of the border.

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

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Chris Edwards has been released to pursue an NFL opportunity (Richard Lam/CFL.ca)

– Head coach Rick Campbell announced his coaching staff for the 2020 season on Monday (CFL.ca).

– The Lions announced on Tuesday that the team has released defensive back Chris Edwards in order for him to pursue NFL opportunities (CFL.ca). 


Brock Sunderland and new head coach Scott Milanovich have bringing a Grey Cup to Edmonton top of mind as the off-season continues (Esks.com)

– Head coach Scott Milanovich spoke with Ricky Ray about joining the team’s coaching staff but says the former Esks and Argos pivot is ‘not quite ready for coaching yet’ (Dave Jamieson, TSN1260).

– After Edmonton Eskimos general manager Brock Sunderland was able to get Milanovich to become the team’s head coach, the pair is moving forward with the goal of leading the squad to a Grey Cup (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

– In roster news, the Esks have extended the contract of American running back Shaq Cooper through the 2020 season (CFL.ca).


Ka’Deem Carey will return to Calgary in 2020 after signing a new contract (Arthur Ward/CFL.ca)

– In roster news, the Stampeders signed American running back Ka’Deem Carey to a contract extension that will keep him with the red and black through the 2021 season (CFL.ca). 

– Defensive back Tre Roberson was released to pursue an opportunity in the NFL (CFL.ca).

– Receiver Reggie Begelton was also released for an opportunity in the National Football League (CFL.ca).

– QB Bo Levi Mitchell has undergone a procedure to remove a cyst from his shoulder (TSN.ca).


The Riders have released All-Star linebacker Derrick Moncrief (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– The Riders released American linebacker Derrick Moncrief to pursue an NFL opportunity on Wednesday (CFL.ca).


Mike O’Shea knew Winnipeg was where he wanted to stay well before winning the Grey Cup (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– The Bombers signed five players to contracts, including a pair of American receivers, on Monday (CFL.ca).

– Head coach Mike O’Shea knew he’d found a home in Winnipeg long before the end of the Grey Cup drought (Ted Wyman, Winnipeg Sun).


The Tabbies extended Jeremiah Masoli and now have two options for a starting QB in 2020 (The Canadian Press)

– The Ticats may have two potential starting quarterbacks on their roster, but as CFL.ca’s Pat Steinberg writes, it’s hardly a concern (Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca). 

– Hamilton’s head coach Orlondo Steinauer says there could be competition for the No. 1 QB role in training camp if Jeremiah Masoli is healthy (CFL.ca).


DL Ronald Ollie has signed with the Toronto Argonauts and will head to the city for training camp in May (East Mississippi Community College)

– With Nick Arbuckle possibly being off the board heading into free agency, the Toronto Argonauts are still figuring out who they want to lead their offence in 2020 (CFL.ca).

– The Argos signed ‘Last Chance U’ star Ronald Ollie to a contract on Monday (CFL.ca).


Will the REDBLACKS sign Nick Arbuckle to a contract? (Larry MacDougal/CFL.ca)

– The Ottawa REDBLACKS acquired pending free agent QB Nick Arbuckle from the Stampeders in exchange for a third round draft pick last week (CFL.ca).

– His rights were traded to the REDBLACKS last week but is Nick Arbuckle the right fit in the nation’s capital? (Marshall Ferguson, CFL.ca).

– As the REDBLACKS try to sign Arbuckle to a contract, TSN’s Henry Burris says that there is no doubt that he is a starting quarterback (TSN1200).

– The REDBLACKS are hoping to bring Arbuckle to Ottawa for a visit later this month (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).



– The new owners of the Montreal Alouettes, S and S Sportsco (a corporate entity owned by Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern), were announced on Monday (CFL.ca).

– A dream was brought to life on Monday for the new owners of the Alouettes (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

– Head coach Khari Jones says that new Als co-owner Stern is the ‘right person for the job’ (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette)

– The CFL announced on Friday that Patrick Boivin is no longer the president and CEO of the Montreal Alouettes (CFL.ca).