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Free Agency Christmas Wishlist

Published: Monday, Dec 4th 2017, 7:12pm

by: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)

Now that Alex has done his wish list of players that the Riders must do everything in their power to keep, I want to look at things from a different angle. There are 150+ free agents (probably more, I haven’t counted) from outside the Roughriders organization, and I am going to pick my list of 10 players I would love to see the Roughriders go after. Keep in mind, this list is in a perfect world, with no salary cap considerations. I leave the numbers up to people far smarter than I am. This list is in no order:

Alex Bazzie

Chris Jones’ defensive front requires a lot of pressure from as few as 3 down linemen on a regular basis. Put Alex Bazzie on the opposite end of Willie Jefferson, and you have a line that could do exactly that. Assuming he takes another crack at the NFL, but if that doesn’t pan out, he would look fantastic in a Chris Jones defense.

Craig Roh

18 tackles and 7 sacks in 16 games with the BC Lions in 2017, Craig Roh has been very consistent up the middle in his 3 seasons in the CFL (20 sacks along with 64 tackles in 45 games). A defensive line with Willie Jefferson, Tobi Antigha (Alex Bazzie) and Craig Roh could cause some damage in a 3-man front.

James Franklin

Do I really need to say anything here? Until Brandon Bridge puts pen to paper, we have a starting QB role that needs to be filled by somebody besides Kevin Glenn. Nothing against Glenn, but we need to look to the future of this franchise. There are plenty of quality arms on the market, but Franklin is the one with the most long-term upside (assuming his NFL aspirations are unsuccessful).

Tommie Campbell

With Jovon Johnson and Kacy Rodgers III on the market, the Riders may need to look to bring somebody in to shore up a quality defensive backfield. Tommie Campbell fits that bill.

Lamar Durant

With Nic Demski on the market, the Riders are thin at proven NI WR talent. We have minimal depth behind Rob Bagg, who will be 33 when the season opens next year. Much like the QB spot, this is a spot where we need to look to the future, and Durant is 25 years old. Add in the humour if they give him the number four, and you have a few good reasons to sign him.

Stanley Bryant

The Riders managed to get last year’s CFL Most Outstanding Lineman (Derek Dennis) on the free agent market, why not do it again this year? An offensive line with Dennis and Bryant as bookends would be formidable against any defensive line. Bryant won’t come cheap, so this is one of those “perfect world/no SMS” type scenarios, but I guy can dream, right?

Nolan Macmillan

In a league where the ratio plays such a key role, the Riders need to find a way to get a 3rd Canadian on the offensive line. With both of their starting tackles on the free agent market, Derek Dennis will assuredly move back outside. If so, we need depth down the middle of the line. Add in that we have no idea how Josiah St John has or has not progressed, and you have a spot that needs to be filled.

Cleyon Laing

5 sacks in 11 games as defensive tackle, and a wrecking ball up the middle. What more needs to be said?

Zack Evans

A quality Canadian in the middle of the Defensive line, and the ability for the Riders to right a wrong from years ago when they left him open in the expansion draft.

Donny O

See the above, but without the added notes re: righting a wrong. Shoring up the line on both sides of the ball is key to the 2018 Riders success.


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