Riders Defense - A Look ahead after Day 1 of FA
Published: Wednesday, Feb 12th 2020, 8:02am
By: Sheldon Jones (@SheldonJones83)
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were quiet on day one of free agency, just as GM Jeremy O'day said they would be at his news conference on Monday. Just before the FA period opened up, Justin Dunk reported that pending FA Solomon Elimimian had re-signed for 1 year and in doing so seemingly filled one of the last positions on the Riders starting defense. As referenced on Twitter, it seems that the Roughriders were quietly moving on from 2019's highest paid defensive player Micah Johnson. Johnson sent out a tweet saying that he didn't receive a contract offer from the club and it does make sense why he might not have. With reports suggesting that Elimimian will see a modest raise, not to mention raises that CB Nick Marshall and LB Cameron Judge also received, money could be tight on the defensive side of the ball for O'Day.
As of right now the riders starting lineup on defense would look like this.
DL - Hughes, Henry, Evans, Leonard
LB - Judge, Elimimian, Foster
DB - Marshall, Purifoy, Gainey, Mcray
S - Edem
Even with the loss of Johnson, the Riders defense is STACKED. With Mak Henry, Charbel Dabire and Zack Evans the Riders could go national at both DT positions or even switch up to a 3-4 defense moving Purifoy down as a 4th LB. This is not to say that the Riders will not miss Micah's strong presence in the middle of the field, more to say that the defensive unit as a whole will still be strong and should be fighting near the top of the league in the defensive statistics.