Free Agent Targets for the Riders
Published: Sunday, Feb 7th 2021, 4:02pm
Free Agent Targets for the Riders
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The last time we saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they were feeling heartbreak in the 2019 West Final at Mosaic Stadium. They were a 13-5 team with not a lot of holes to fill on the roster. Fast forward almost 2 calendar years from that night and the Riders are relatively in the same spot heading into free agency 2021 on Tuesday.
The offense remains the same, led by Cody Fajardo, Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore. The O-Line is the one question mark on that side of the ball. While LaBatte and Clark are back on the interior, the big question is who will start at Right Guard? Braden Schram? 2020 first round pick Mattland Riley? Enter Evan Johnson. Johnson is from Regina, played at the U of S with the Huskies and has been with the Ottawa REDBLACKS for a few years now. Time to come home.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jeremy O’Day is looking this way and it doesn’t seem like the secret is being kept all that well… Johnson will be signing with the Riders on Tuesday. IMMEDIATELY, he steps in as the starting Right Guard and the entire offense is pretty much set.
But it’s the defense that has it’s biggest holes. And no, I’m not talking about replacing Charleston Hughes, who was released on Wednesday and signed with Toronto on Thursday. His replacement has been on the roster for over a month now, former All-Star (and NFL’er) Freddie Bishop III. The D-Line is in good shape, even with the loss of Hughes and local boy Zack Evans.
No, it’s the Linebackers that concern me. Louchiez Purifoy has the cover backer spot locked up, no worry there. But if Cameron Judge and Solomon Elimimian aren’t back, what do the Riders do then?
It sounds like Judge is waiting for NFL offers. I’m absolutely confident that if he doesn’t get an NFL offer, he’ll be back in Saskatchewan. O’Day knows Judge’s value and will pay for it and rightfully so. But they need a contingency plan in place… especially with Judge having the “Canadian” passport here in the CFL.
If I’m Jeremy O’Day, I’m trying to bring Henoc Muamba back to Saskatchewan. It would allow the Riders to keep their ratio and you get a proven star as you are building up for a Grey Cup run.
It not Muamba, hello another former Roughrider, Don Unamba. You’ll likely forget that Unamba was a Rider back in 2015, because that team SUUUUUCKED. But Unamba has proven his worth and would be a fantastic addition to the Riders defense.
But the linebacker I REALLY hope that Jeremy O’Day is targeting this free agency, is Patrick Levels. Dude is a BALLER! He can play the middle, outside and is still just 26 years old. This is the guy I’m going after and making sure that I have a big budget for. Larry Dean is another name to keep your eye on, but I just don’t see that one happening.
The fun all starts on Tuesday at 11am SK time.
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