Now comes the look forward to Jeremy O’Day.
In accordance with CFL sources final week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders GM reached agreements in precept with quarterback Trevor Harris and receiver Jake Wieneke through the CFL’s free-agent negotiating window.
The sources spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of agreements reached throughout that point couldn’t be introduced.
Now, the Montreal Alouettes could have till Tuesday morning to re-sign Harris and/or Wieneke earlier than the beginning of free company, although each are anticipated to go out West as soon as their present offers expire.
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O’Day mentioned the Riders had good conversations with each Harris and Wieneke.
“We’re simply able the place we’re ready to get to free company so we will get to that time the place these guys are allowed to signal contracts,” O’Day instructed reporters in Regina final week.
Harris and Wieneke have been set to change into free brokers Tuesday afternoon ET, however have been allowed to obtain presents from different golf equipment from Feb. 5 by means of Sunday.
Any proposals made — together with base wage and incentives — needed to be registered with the league and CFL Gamers’ Affiliation and could be thought of binding.
When the window closed on Sunday, groups had 48 hours to barter solely with their very own potential free brokers. The CFL will give golf equipment any registered presents made to these gamers.
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Groups then had till 10 a.m. ET Tuesday to make shows to their gamers, with copies given to each the league and CFLPA. Then the gamers have two hours (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET) to decide on a suggestion or reject all of them and at 12:01 p.m. on Tuesday. ET coming into free company.
The window was set in 2020 to fight tampering and permit pending free brokers to discover all their choices earlier than the free agent interval.
“I feel what’s higher is that it is a extra open course of,” O’Day mentioned. “You possibly can brazenly speak to the participant, you may brazenly have your place coach name the participant, the top coach can name the participant and you do not really feel such as you’re doing one thing fallacious.”
Harris, 36, accomplished 71.6 % of his passes for 4,157 yards final season. The six-foot-three, 212-pound Harris is coming into his twelfth CFL season, however Saskatchewan could be his fifth totally different league crew.
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The six-foot-four, 215-pound Wieneke, who is claimed to be excellent buddies with Harris, spent the previous three seasons with Montreal. In 48 common season video games, the 28-year-old American had 142 catches for two,056 yards with 21 touchdowns.
Saskatchewan (6-12) completed fourth within the West Division standings final season and missed the CFL playoffs. And whereas Harris and Wienke are anticipated to assist an offense that ranked second final in offensive factors (19.8 per sport) in 2022, there’s nonetheless the matter of bettering an offensive line that final 12 months allowed a league-leading 77 sacks.
“I feel the fact is now we have plenty of beginning positions going into free company that should be stuffed,” O’Day mentioned. “If that is what you wish to name energetic, I might say, sure, we’ll be energetic … now we have positions that we have to fill with starters.”
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A undeniable fact that was not misplaced on Dave Dickenson, Calgary’s longtime head coach who can be in his first season because the membership’s basic supervisor.
“I discover in the event you’ve had a troublesome 12 months, you have to be more durable on opening day,” Dickenson instructed reporters in Calgary final week. “I feel in the event you’ve had a very good stable 12 months, a 12 months that you just like your crew, in the event you do your job effectively, you have to attempt to get these guys again and get as many as you may.”
Montreal signed All-American linebacker Avery Williams and All-American receiver Reggie White Jr. re-signed to a contract extension Monday. American defensive lineman Mike Moore was launched, reportedly earlier than a bonus was due.
Many different pending free brokers have signed extensions with their golf equipment, together with defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin IV (CFL’s high defensive participant final 12 months with Ottawa), receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and quarterback Andrew Harris (each Canadian with Grey Cup champion Toronto), quarterback. Above Levi Mitchell (Hamilton), offensive linemen Stanley Bryant (league’s high lineman final 12 months with Winnipeg) and Derek Dennis (Calgary) and Canadian linebacker Cam Choose (Stamps).
O’Day additionally re-signed defensive linemen Anthony Lanier II and Pete Robinson, linebacker Larry Dean and working again Jamal Morrow, all Individuals.
However there are different high gamers who might hit the open market. They embrace: Montreal receiver Eugene Lewis (East Division high participant final 12 months with 91 catches, 1,303 yards, 10 TDs), working again McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba (Toronto); defensive lineman Shawn Lemon (West’s high defensive participant final 12 months with Calgary) and All-American linebacker Darnell Sankey (CFL-high 122 tackles final 12 months with Saskatchewan).
Others, resembling Canadian defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng (Ottawa), American receiver Kenny Lawler (Edmonton), American linebackers Jovan Santos-Knox (Hamilton) and Jameer Thurman (Calgary) and American defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade (Calgary), have been among the many gamers who apparently agreed to phrases with totally different golf equipment. However that was earlier than their mother or father groups had the correct to barter with them earlier than the formal begin of free company.
On Monday, the BC Lions signed All-American receiver Dominique Rhymes to a contract extension by means of the ’24 season. Rhymes had 85 catches for 1,401 yards (second most in CFL) and 11 TDs final season.
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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-signed Canadian linebacker Jesse Briggs on Monday, whereas Canadian fullback Charlie Energy remained with the Calgary Stampeders. Each veteran gamers have been set to change into free brokers on Tuesday.
One participant who will not be testing free company is Tony Washington. The All-American offensive lineman retired on Monday after enjoying 11 CFL seasons.
The six-foot-seven, 318-pound Washington appeared in 138 profession regular-season contests with Toronto, Edmonton (twice), Hamilton and Montreal. A two-time Grey champion, Washington, 36, dressed for 9 contests with the Elks final season.
Edmonton signed All-American working again Vincent Testaverde Jr., whose father, Vinny, spent 21 NFL seasons beneath heart, whereas releasing working again Ante Liter and defensive lineman Malik Tyne, each Canadians.
— With information from Donna Spencer in Calgary