Riders, O’Day have Successful Day 1 of CFL Free Agency
Published: Wednesday, Feb 15th 2023, 1:02am
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
Day 1 of CFL Free Agency was a busy and successful one for Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day. After finishing with a disappointing 6-12 record in 2022, changes had to be made for 2023 and I think JO is off to a very good start.
It was obvious that the offence was going to be completely re-built and that’s exactly what we have here in Saskatchewan. A new QB in Trevor Harris, new receivers in Jake Wieneke, Juwan Brescacin and Shawn Bane and new O-Lineman in Philip Blake, Peter Godber and Eric Lofton (signed a few days before FA opened).
On the defensive side of the ball, bringing in Micah Johnson is huge. Third time is a charm, I guess. O’Day was able to keep Anthony Lanier II and Pete Robertson, so to add in Johnson again gives the starting D-Line 3 exceptional starters and should generate quite the pass rush again this year. They also brought in Stefen Banks who has 8 sacks in 2 seasons in the CFL in a rotational role. He’ll be given every opportunity to see that role expanded and become a valuable part to this Riders D.
Of course with the new, out go the old. Receivers Duke Williams (Hamilton), Shaq Evans (Ottawa), Justin McInnis (BC) and Kyran Moore (Edmonton) are all done here in Saskatchewan and those all make sense to me. Duke was clearly not welcome here anymore after the antics of last season, Shaq has been injured often lately and his production has dropped drastically, Sam Emilus or Brayden Lenius will get plenty of playing time (even with the addition of Brescacin) and I expect Mario Alford and Bane to fill the void of ‘Swerve’ in the offence… Moore just couldn’t get it going last year after coming back from his ACL injury.
There’s no doubt that there are still some holes to fill on this Riders roster and I expect some more depth signings to come in the next few days of CFL Free Agency… I’m really interested to see what the Riders do next. I’ve been critical of JO before, but it was a very successful day for him and the Riders and they deserve credit for it.
Later this week, check out our latest episode of The Piffles Podcast (presented by Dairy Queen Grill & Chill on Elphinstone St and Sask Drive in Regina) where Steve, Greg and myself will break down all the signings and non-signings by the Saskatchewan Roughriders!
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