Riders Offense - A look ahead after 2 days of FA
Published: Thursday, Feb 13th 2020, 1:02pm
By: Sheldon Jones
It was mostly quiet on the offensive front as well for the first two days of free agency for Roughriders GM Jeremy O'Day and Co. While they added some veteran depth behind starting QB Cody Fajardo in James Franklin, they have lost 2 members of the offensive line as both Phillip Blake and Dariusz Bladek signed in Toronto. They did manage to add a little depth back to the offensive line in former 1st overall pick (2016) Josiah St John, but not many are excited by that move. The jury is still out on if O'Day wants to / is able to sign reciever Namaan Roosevelt, as he did not exactly rule out Roosevelt's return at his news conference on Monday, however the ball is in Namaan's hands whether he would like to return at all.
As of today, the Riders starting offense would look like this:
OL Vaughn, LaBatte, Clark, Shepley, Cofield
REC Evans, Moore, JWL, Stafford, McInnis
While its not ideal to potentially lose a player of Roosevelt's caliber (especially on 2nd down) the emergence of Shaq Evans as one of the league's premiere deep threats, the explosiveness of Kyran Moore and the versatility of Jordan Williams-Lambert give the Riders 3 legit targets for Cody Fajardo. And while it may seem like a big loss to lose 2 national linemen, they still have Schramm, St John and Bennett as depth offensive linemen, so I don't think there will much of a drop off. Adding James Franklin gives the Riders a 3rd and short specialist (something that would have been great to have in the 2019 West Final).
While there is certainly still a lot of time between now and training camp, the Riders have done a good job of locking in the core players that management feels gives them the best shot to win the Grey Cup at home this season.