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Post Free Agency, Riders Still Have Some Question Marks

Published: Friday, Feb 16th 2024, 1:02pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

Well this has been another fun week in the CFL, hasn’t it? Free Agency opened up and we got a TON of signings (most of which we knew ahead of time because of the Negotiation Window reports) and rosters are really starting to take shape for the 2024 season.

As expected, Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day and Head Coach Corey Mace were busy building their new team and while most starting spots on the roster can be penciled in, there are some holes on the roster the Riders still need to address. So where do the Saskatchewan Roughriders need help?

 

 

Left Tackle – Newly signed Jermarcus Hardrick (Yoshi) will hold down the right tackle spot, which was also a need. But to protect QB Trevor Harris’ blind side, there is nothing set in stone. In 2023, the Riders only brought in ONE true left tackle (Jerald Hawkins, who hadn’t played in years) and not only did he not show up to Training Camp, when he finally reported, he got hurt right away… and he was their Plan A. Trevor Reid is the only other true Left Tackle on the roster, while all the rest of the Americans are Right Tackles or Guards. It’s been a handful of years since the Riders had a Left Tackle that we didn’t have to worry about from game to game, hopefully we have one on the roster again.

 

Wide Receiver – While I’m not upset about the team losing Tevin Jones to free agency, it does leave a starting spot open from last season. I’m not surprised that the team didn’t sign a high profile free agent this year because we need to find a younger guy who will save some money on the salary cap. We have Samuel Emilus & Kian Schaeffer-Baker (with Mitch Picton & Brayden Lenius) as the Canadian starters with Shawn Bane Jr. and likely Jerreth Sterns as two other starters, so it does leave one spot open. I’d think one of Kendall Watson, Kalija Lipscomb or former Green Bay Packers receiver Geronimo Allison will grab that open spot, but there will be quite the competition in Training Camp. 

 

Cornerback – The release of Nic Marshall opened up a spot at corner going into free agency, but that will be newly signed Jalon Edwards-Cooper. The rest of the starters are currently Amari Henderson, Rolan Milligan & Jayden Dalke/Jaxon Ford at Safety. I liked Deontai Williams last year, he showed a lot of potential back there in the secondary. But with guys like Rodney Clemons, C.J. Coldon, Cole Coleman, Mark Fields II, & Mark McLaurin under contract, there will be a big competition to see who gets that other corner spot. I can’t see the team going out and spending money on another free agent DB, so I expect one of these guys to grab that open spot.

 

Quarterback 2 – I still don’t love the idea of Mason Fine going into the season as the backup to Harris. A lot of people are wanting the team to find someone new, but I think we have to wait a year. I think the answer to everyone’s question about who will eventually replace Harris as the new franchise QB of the Riders will be made in 2025. I think of Dru Brown and the Redblacks… and I’m thinking that of Cameron Dukes and the Riders. I think the green and white will trade for the Argos backup in the offseason and go with him as the guy… we just have to wait until 2025.

 

Check out episode 258 of The Piffles Podcast where we go into all the free agency moves and discuss the holes still on the roster.

 

 

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