February 16, 2024

10 PFF-approved free agency signings

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca

TORONTO — Championships are not won or lost in free agency.

That said, it is the first step in the off-season towards building a championship-calibre roster. It means that adding talent will always be a central piece of reaching the Grey Cup.

CFL.ca brings you five acquisitions on each side of the ball that ranked near the top in 2023 according to Pro Football Focus.

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More Free Agency news, notes and analysis

PFF utilizes extensive review of game footage to provide additional context for every action on the field. Highly-trained PFF staff break down every game, player and play to provide over 200 unique data points, which are used to compile Player Grades – a numerical representation up-to-100 of performance at their specific position.

For more information on PFF, Player Grades, the Grading Scale and more, please visit pff.com/grades.

*Grades are based on players who played a minimum of 100 snaps


1. AJ Ouellette (88.8) – SSK

The top offensive signing so far goes to the Saskatchewan Roughriders who brought in running back AJ Ouellette. The tailback finished 2023 with the fifth highest offensive grade and second among running backs behind only Brady Oliveira.

2. Matthew Shiltz (82.4) – CGY

Pivot Matthew Shiltz comes in second after joining the Stampeders in free agency. The signal-caller led all quarterbacks with at least 100 passing attempts in big-time throw percentage (8.1) while also taking good care of the football with a low turnover-worthy throw percentage (2.8).

3. Ka’Deem Carey (78.6) – TOR

The Argos brought in Ka’Deem Carey after losing Ouellette in free agency and the former Stampeder brings a lot of experience and big-play ability. Despite dealing with injuries in 2023, Carey still averaged 5.4 yards per carry, while forcing 22 missed tackles and netting 21 first-down runs.

4. Jermarcus Hardrick (73.3) – SSK

The Green and White signed Jermarcus Hardrick to solidify the offensive line in Regina. The All-Star veteran had a 97.4 pass-blocking efficiency while grading above 70.0 in both pass and run blocking in 2023.

5. Terry Godwin II (66.7) – HAM

Receiver Terry Godwin II returns to Hamilton after totalling 864 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2023. The veteran added 20 explosive plays and 15 missed tackles forced while sharing targets with free agent Tim White.



1. Jamal Peters (80.7) – HAM

The top signing on defence so far according to PFF is defensive back Jamal Peters going to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The ball-hawking cornerback registered four interceptions despite only playing in 13 games with the Argonauts in 2023.

2. Jalon Edwards-Cooper (78.7) – SSK

Right behind Peters is Jalon Edwards-Cooper, another good signing for the Roughriders who were not afraid to be aggressive in free agency. Edwards-Cooper forced six incompletions, added 14 stops while also forcing two turnovers (a pick and a fumble) for the BC Lions last season.

3. Brandon Barlow (78.1) – HAM

The Ticats signed another defensive weapon out of their divisional rivals in defensive lineman Brandon Barlow. The pass rusher had nine sacks but was impactful even when not getting to the quarterback, finishing with 30 total pressures.

4. Demerio Houston (78.0) – CGY

Demerio Houston led the CFL in interceptions and will now take his talents to Calgary. The defensive back also forced six incompletions and added nine stops, showcasing his versatile skill-set as a complete defensive back.

5. Shawn Oakman (74.0) – TOR

Another key re-signing for the Boatmen, Shawn Oakman stays in Toronto after registering 18 sacks in three seasons with the Double Blue. Oakman had 43 total pressures to go along six sacks in 2023 as a disruptive force on the defensive line.

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