January 15, 2020

Checking Down: News and notes from the off-season


TORONTO — As the off-season continues, the front office and coaching staffs around the league have been a topic of discussion.

The Montreal Alouettes hired a new general manager and president while the Edmonton Eskimos announced their 2020 coaches, including Noel Thorpe as defensive coordinator.

Plus, if Nick Arbuckle will sign with the Ottawa REDBLACKS remains to be seen and with free agency looming, players are starting to ink new deals with their respective teams.

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


Kelly Bates is looking to improve his offensive line group in 2020 (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– Offensive line coach Kelly Bates is looking to turn around the fortunes of a BC Lions offensive line that finished with the most sacks allowed in 2019 (Matt Baker, BCLions.com).

– Rick Campbell thought he might be out of football for a year when he left Ottawa, but the BC Lions came knocking (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca). 

– The Lions brought back defensive back Keon Lyn and added three more Americans on Tuesday (BCLions.com).


Noel Thorpe has been hired as the Eskimos defensive coordinator (Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca)

– According to a report, the Eskimos have released receiver Kevin Elliott (Dave Campbell, 630CHED).

– The Eskimos announced their 2020 coaching staff, that includes Noel Thorpe as defensive coordinator (CFL.ca).


DaShaun Amos has been released to pursue an opportunity south of the border (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– The Stampeders released defensive back DaShaun Amos on Wednesday to allow him to pursue an NFL opportunity (CFL.ca). 


Jorgan Hus returns to Riderville after signing a one-year extension (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

– Saskatchewan signed National long snapper Jorgen Hus to a one-year contract extension on Tuesday (CFL.ca).

– From staying strong at linebacker to loading up on pass-catchers, CFL.ca’s Jamie Nye breaks down five off-season priorities for the Riders (Jamie Nye, CFL.ca).


Will the Bombers keep Chris Streveler and Matt Nichols in Winnipeg? (The Canadian Press)

– With three quarterbacks holding expiring contracts, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers face a pivotal decision as free agency looms (Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca).

– General manager Kyle Walters checks in with BlueBombers.com’s Ed Tait at the GM Meetings earlier this month to chat about the upcoming season (BlueBombers.com)


Juslian Howsare returns to the black and gold after signing a two-year extension (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– In roster news, the Tiger-Cats signed defensive end Julian Howsare to a two-year contract extension (CFL.ca).

– The team also signed linebacker Curtis Newton to a contract extension (CFL.ca

– With Jeremiah Masoli signing a contract extension and Dane Evans under contract, who do the Ticats turn to under centre? (CFL.ca).


Shaq Richardson will be back in double blue in 2020 (Argonauts.ca)

– The Toronto Argonauts signed American defensive back Shaq Richardson through 2021 and signed American defensive back Jeff Richards (CFL.ca).

– Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie and the Argos are looking at the QBs they already have in house ahead of free agency next month (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).


Justin Howell signed a new one-year deal in Ottawa this week (OttawaREDBLACKS.com)

– The REBLACKS signed National defensive back Justin Howell to a one-year extension on Tuesday (CFL.ca).

– After acquiring his rights from the Stamps, the REDBLBACKS will try and sign Nick Arbuckle before he becomes a free agent in February and are scheduled to bring the QB to Ottawa next week (Tim Baines, Ottawa Sun).



– The Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that they have hired Danny Maciocia as general manager and Mario Cecchini as president (CFL.ca).

– Following his hire with the Alouettes, CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary chatted with the team’s new general manager Danny Maciocia (CFL.ca).

– Montreal Alouettes co-owner Gary Stern was candid and showed his personality in his introductory press conference as as CFL.ca’s Matthew Cauz writes, that’s a good thing (CFL.ca).

– After being announced as the president and general manager of the Als, Mario Cecchini and Danny Maciocia are looking to help push the team to new heights (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

– Maciocia didn’t have much time to relax after he was announced as the Als’ new GM, getting right to work with free agency right around the corner (Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette).