January 18, 2024

Steinberg: Top four landing spots for Dominique Rhymes


Dominique Rhymes has entered the chat.

The explosive receiver is on the market after the BC Lions opted to release Rhymes this week after three seasons with the team, including an All-Star campaign in 2022.

On the one hand, it’s an understandable decision for the team. BC has signed superstar receivers Keon Hatcher and Alexander Hollins to new deals this week, as both were slated to become free agents next month. In a cap world, sacrifices have to be made sometimes, especially with decisions still to be made regarding players like Mathieu Betts, Jevon Cottoy, and Ben Hladik.

» Lions release veteran receiver Dominque Rhymes
» Three for Four: Hatcher, Lions agree to three-year extension
Lions extend All-Star receiver Hollins through 2025
» Continuity key for Lions in Grey Cup hosting year
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“We thank Dom for all of his contributions to our team, both on and off the field,” said Lions general manager and head coach Rick Campbell when announcing the decision. “In the salary cap era, these are hard decisions we have to make.”

In this case, though, BC’s loss is another team’s gain because Rhymes will be highly sought after in the coming weeks. Rhymes racked up 1,401 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns during his breakout 2022 season before a knee injury limited him to just ten games last year. Despite that, Rhymes still posted 535 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Here are the top destinations for Rhymes now that he’s a free agent.

Montreal Alouettes

The defending Grey Cup champs were the first team that came to mind as soon as the Rhymes news dropped on Wednesday. With Montreal losing 2023 breakout star Austin Mack to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, there’s an obvious need at receiver that Rhymes looks tailormade to address.

The Alouettes have a talented, albeit young, group of pass catchers entering 2024. Kaion Julien-Grant was in the midst of a breakout season himself before being sidelined after week 8. Adding Rhymes to compliment Julien-Grant seems like a great fit and would be a nice addition to a receiving crop that also includes Cole Spieker and Tyler Snead.


A return to where Rhymes’s CFL journey started makes a lot of sense, too. Rhymes established himself as a pro with the REDBLACKS and posted his first 1,000-yard season in the nation’s capital in 2019 before heading west. A splash signing like Rhymes would go a long way for an Ottawa team looking for their first post-season appearance since 2018.


While the REDBLACKS are sorting through their quarterback situation, Rhymes would provide another potential big play target for whoever is throwing the ball. With Jaelon Acklin already under contract and 2023 breakout star Justin Hardy a priority to sign to an extension, a Rhymes addition could prove to be quite enticing for Ottawa.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

If former teammate James Butler has anything to say about it, the Ticats and Rhymes would be a great fit this season. The Hamilton running back made no secret on social media of his desire to be reunited with Rhymes. After all, Butler spent two seasons with Rhymes in BC, including that 2022 campaign where both players popped off.

Adding Rhymes would make a ton of football sense for Hamilton, too. While the Tiger-Cats saw Tim White record his second straight 1,200-yard season at receiver last year, they missed Steven Dunbar Jr. after he left for Edmonton in free agency. Bringing in Rhymes to pair with White, assuming he signs a new deal, would give Hamilton a stellar one-two punch.

Calgary Stampeders

When Malik Henry went down with an Achilles injury in Week 3, Calgary’s receiving game took a huge hit. With Henry, the Stamps had an elite duo along with recently extended Reggie Begelton. Without him, though, quarterback Jake Maier had trouble finding chemistry with any receiver not named Begelton.

An addition like Rhymes would give Maier that second high-end option. General manager Dave Dickenson has already intimated this winter we might see Calgary more active than normal in free agency. With Henry returning from a major injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Stampeders hone in on Rhymes in the coming weeks.

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