Riders Positional Groups – Quarterbacks & Special Teams
Published: Monday, Jan 15th 2024, 3:01pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
We are a month away from free agency opening in the CFL and teams are working on keeping their key pending free agents… well, at least they normally do at this time of the year. We’ve seen way less re-signings around the league this offseason than we have in a long time. Nonetheless, us fans are starting to look at how our team is taking shape and what we have going into free agency, so we can play armchair GM and tell our team where to spend their money.
In this series leading up to free agency, I’ll be taking a look at the positional groups for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and playing armchair GM myself, explaining where I think General Manager Jeremy O’Day and Head Coach Corey Mace should be spending their salary.
First up, we look at the Quarterbacks and the Special Teams.
Under Contract: Trevor Harris, Shea Patterson, Antonio Pipkin
Pending Free Agents: Jake Dolegala, Mason Fine
Trevor Harris just re-structured his contract to give the Riders $24,000 in salary cap room to use. I like Harris as starter, but the only guys signed behind him are 3rd stringers. At least one of them won’t make the team. They NEED a backup that has some experience.
If the Riders let Jake Dolegala and Mason Fine both walk, then Dru Brown NEEDS to be in green and white this season as the successor. I know Harris is a fitness freak and is still in incredible shape, but the team needs to find it’s franchise QB… and the oldest QB in the league (Harris) isn’t it. Coach Mace and new Offensive Coordinator Marc Mueller will want a guy they can build around for years. Enter Brown.
However, if the Riders DO re-sign one of Dolegala or Fine before free agency opens, then maybe the plan is to wait a year and go after Cameron Dukes from the Argos, who Coach Mace would know quite well. Who knows, maybe Dukes is in play THIS year via trade… Either way, figure it out THIS year before it’s too late next year.
Another option for backup QB is Matthew Shiltz from the Ticats. He’s a pending free agent and has a ton of CFL experience under his belt. While he wouldn’t fit in under the franchise QB of the future plan, he would provide stability this season if Harris doesn’t stay healthy.
Under Contract: Jorgen Hus, Adam Korsak
Pending Free Agents: Brett Lauther
We’re talking strictly the specialty players here, not all the LBs, DBs, RBs, etc that play on special teams. Jorgen Hus is a Rider until he decides not to be. We NEVER hear his name and for a long snapper, that’s exactly what you want. Plus he’s great on coverage.
New punter Adam Korsak is a stud. I’d still bring in another punter to push him in training camp, but the job is Korsak’s to lose.
After a shaky start to the year, kicker Brett Lauther went back to being his reliable self. I sure hope he’s back for 2024. But if for some reason he isn’t brought back, I’d be calling Ryan Meskell up ASAP. Meskell was very good in relief of Lauther last season and his number should be on speed dial. But the way it stands now, I wouldn’t be rushing to make that call.
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