December 7, 2023

Cauz: Pending FAs that you can’t picture anywhere else

Kevin Sousa/

It’s time to take a quick break from our regularly scheduled upcoming free agency breakdown of the multitude of football ramifications for each signing to highlight an extremely pressing matter.

There are certain players I am rooting for to find a way to stay with their current team; not for any specific football or sentimental reasons, rather because it would look weird to see them in a different city. There is zero scientific reasoning going into this list and it has nothing to do with “football fit” but everything to do with “uniform fit.” It is hard to explain why it would be so jarring to see Player X in Uniform Y. You just know it when you try to see it. This list is part football and part aesthetics.

 Top 3 pending FAs on every East team
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»’s top 30 pending free agents

William Stanback


The heart and the soul of the Montreal Alouettes’ ground game for half decade is a couple productive seasons away from overtaking George Dixon for second in career rushing. Don’t worry, I won’t even hint at the idea of anyone leapfrogging Mike Pringle. Very few Alouettes have been on the team longer than the two-time 1000-plus-yard rusher and his post-Grey Cup interview solidified his inclusion to this list. Sorry, but I can’t imagine seeing Stanback in Ottawa.

Jermarcus Hardrick & Stanley Bryant:

Hardrick and Bryant, pictured here at practice at Grey Cup Week this year in Hamilton, are the longtime pillars of the Bombers’ offensive line (The Canadian Press)

Zach Collaros’ bodyguards since he became the starting quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are both set to hit the market. Can you name a tackle combination where the one with two Grey Cup Championships who was voted a West Division All-Star three times is the lesser accomplished player? Anywhere else Hardrick is the crown jewel of an offensive line, except for the one with the blocker who has won the league’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award four times. Damn, we are going to miss Bryant whenever he decides to retire. I have a hard time imagining Collaros dropping back without these two giants keeping a clean pocket or creating more pancakes than your local diner for Brady Oliveira.

Brady Oliveira


Speaking of Oliveira, he has the least amount of tenure of all the players on this list with three years of service (I know he was on the squad in 2019 but only appeared in a couple games) with the Bombers. He makes the list as he hit that incredibly rare Canadiana double-double of winning the Most Outstanding Canadian while playing in his hometown of Winnipeg.

Brandon Revenberg

Revenberg has been an ironman in Steeltown, missing just two games since joining the team in 2017 (Jimmy Jeong/

You can set your watch to Revenberg blocking for Tiger-Cats quarterbacks and running backs from his left guard position. Since 2017 Revenberg has been a stalwart on the interior of the offensive line as a four-time CFL All-Star in his six years in Steeltown. Since joining Hamilton in 2017, the man in the middle of it all has only missed two games.

Simoni Lawrence

Lawrence has become a fixture of the Ticats’ defence and a face of the team in the community in his decade-plus-long stay in Hamilton (Thomas Skrlj/

Sticking in Hamilton could you imagine Simoni Lawrence making tackles wearing Double Blue? In what world is he trash talking running backs as a member of the BC Lions’ defence? Just the thought of Lawrence not making life difficult for receivers on crossing patterns at Tim Hortons Field makes my eye twitch and I think I’m getting a nosebleed.

Lawrence has been a cornerstone of the Tiger-Cats’ defence for a decade and in five of those years the Tabbies linebacker has made his way onto the CFL East Division All-Star team. Beyond all he does on the field you can also find Lawrence donating his time and energy to so many local charitable events. I’m not sure what would be more painful, driving West on the QEW to Hamilton at 4:30 p.m. or seeing Simoni Lawrence in a different uniform.

René Parades


Far be it for me to tell someone how to live their life but I will make an exception for the man who is second all-time in points scored for the Calgary Stampeders. Does your brain hurt like you just guzzled back a gallon of ice cream to the idea of Paredes in Saskatchewan Green and White lining up for a game-winning kick at McMahon Stadium in front of 35,000 emotionally conflicted fans?

The man has been a part of the organization for a dozen years, made five CFL All-Star teams and has never missed a field goal in a Grey Cup. Why are we even talking about this? My message to the Stamps’ organization is to get a deal done before any of us have to read that Chris Jones has swooped in and signed René.

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