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February 13, 2020

Still Out There: Top free agents still up for grabs

TORONTO — With many big names off the free agency board, there are still a handful that remain unsigned.

Many game-changing playmakers are still available led by receiver Derel Walker, while Shawn Lemon would be an upgrade for any team hoping to bolster their defensive line. Reliable pass-catcher Luke Tasker still has yet to put pen to paper while running back C.J. Gable could be contemplating retirement.

CFL.ca lists the top remaining free agents:

NOTE: This list includes only players that became free agents at Noon on Feb. 11th.  It does not include previously released players (ie. Ryan Bomben, etc.).


 

1. DEREL WALKER

Even with a quarterback carousel in Toronto, Derel Walker continued to prove why he’s one of the best in the business. The receiver hauled in over 1,000 yards, the third time he’s done so in his career. The productivity is there and with a consistent hand at quarterback, the sky is the limit for the 28-year-old.


2. DEREK DENNIS
(Reportedly signed with XFL)

After a year away from the Stamps in 2017, Dennis quickly returned to Calgary and has looked at home since. He’s started primarily at left tackle for the team for the last two seasons and was named a CFL West All-Star each year, winning a Grey Cup in 2018. Dennis may test his options, but Calgary has been a nearly perfect fit for him in the CFL.


3. C.J. GABLE
(Reportedly contemplating retirement)

C.J. Gable has been one of the best running backs in the league over the last few years, putting up back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Import tailbacks in their 30s aren’t often coveted but his ability to run and catch the ball as well as block sets the 32-year-old apart from the pack.


4. JONATHAN ROSE

Held to just three games in 2019, Jonathan Rose hasn’t gotten much press as a free agent this off-season. Still, the 26-year-old played an integral role in the REDBLACKS’ success from 2016 through 2018, and could easily return to elite status as a shutdown corner.


5. MICAH AWE
(Signed with WPG 02/18/20)

In parts of three seasons, Micah Awe has earned a reputation as one of the CFL’s hardest hitting linebackers. The 26-year-old recorded 44 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in 10 games last season and would be an impactful addition to almost any front seven.


6. NAAMAN ROOSEVELT
(Reportedly signed with MTL (02/22/20)

With 946 yards on a career-high 112 targets, Naaman Roosevelt enjoyed a resurgent season for the Riders in 2019. The 32-year-old may no longer be viewed as a No. 1 option, but could still threaten 1,000 yards. A change of scenery might be just what he needs.


7. ARMANTI EDWARDS

A reliable second or third option, Armanti Edwards has averaged 983 yards per season over the last three years. The former quarterback has a unique skill-set as a receiver and proved last year — his first career 1,000-yard season — that there’s plenty left in the tank.


8. SHAWN LEMON

Truly underrated as one of the league’s most dynamic pass rushers, Shawn Lemon has 42 sacks to his name over the last four seasons. A Grey Cup Champion with the Argos in 2017, Lemon has one of the most valuable skills in football: the ability to get to the quarterback.


9. DOMINIQUE RHYMES
(Signed with BC 02/21/20)

A forgotten name on a struggling football team, Dominique Rhymes quietly added a 1,000-yard season to his resume, accounting for nearly a quarter of Ottawa’s passing offence all season. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Rhymes is an athletic receiver, and still just 26 years old.


10. LUKE TASKER

Held to just nine games in 2019, Luke Tasker had the worst season of his professional career, totaling 406 yards. The 29-year-old should still be an impact player, having logged three 1,000-yard seasons and 35 touchdowns in his seven-year career with the Ticats.


11. DAVON COLEMAN

Coleman was a part of a mid-season trade that saw him head to Toronto for Shawn Lemon.

He was still able to be consistent in 2019, racking up four sacks and 29 tackles in 14 games split between the Lions and Argos.


12. CORY GREENWOOD

Before getting injured in 2019, Greenwood was leading the league in tackles. He posted 79 tackles with two sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles.

The 34-year-old is a five-year CFL veteran who could help with the ratio, however, he’s had some trouble staying healthy.


13. ODELL WILLIS

The 35-year old has played has only missed two games over the past six seasons. Willis had 23 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles while suiting up for all 18 games for the Leos.

The veteran defensive lineman can still bring a lot to the table on the field while providing veteran leadership in the locker room.


14. JOSH BARTEL

The 34-year-old has played in 117 career games, averaging 43.3 yards while netting 27,325 yards on 780 punts.

The native of Australia has proven to be one of the best punters in the league, and he should land somewhere soon with a few teams looking to fill a void.


15. RODNEY SMITH

In his second season with the Double Blue, the 29-year-old flourished, catching 51 balls for 646 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

Standing at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, he presents a massive target for quarterbacks and had a couple of big outings in 2019.


16. TERRY WILLIAMS

Williams was used primarily as a returner for the Stamps in 2019, but he also started some games for Calgary, being used both as a rusher and pass-catcher on offence.

17. ETTORE LATTANZIO
(Re-Signed with Ottawa 02/15/20)

Lattanzio appeared in 17 games for the REDBLACKS this past season, putting up 25 tackles with two sacks.

The 29-year-old has been a starter in the nation’s capital in the past and can help a team with the ratio.


18. EMMANUEL ARCENEAUX

The 32-year-old played in 11 games with the Roughriders in 2019, posting 22 catches for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Despite being used in a smaller role than he’s used to, Arceneaux can still bring a lot to the table for a team.


19. TYRELL SUTTON
(Signed with MTL 02/19/20)

Sutton had a small sample size for teams to look at in 2019, playing in just four games with the Tiger-Cats. However, he jumped off the page in those outings.

The 33-year-old had three games with 85-plus rushing yards — including in the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw — which should give him a chance to play somewhere in 2020.


20. JEFF HECHT

Hecht stepped in and helped the Bombers in multiple areas during their run to the championship in 2019. His ability to be a factor at the safety position as well as in the special teams game. He’s a two-time Grey Cup champion who could help bring some veteran leadership to a locker room.


Fan Poll
Who is the biggest free agent signing so far?
Cleyon Laing (Ottawa)
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Josh Johnson (Winnipeg)
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Juwan Brescacin (Toronto)
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Justin Tuggle (Edmonton)
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