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Saskatchewan Roughriders Free Agents – Who Should Stay? PT 2 – Defense

Published: Tuesday, Nov 7th 2023, 2:11pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


Thanks to John Hodge of 3 Down Nation, we have the “unofficial” list of Saskatchewan Roughriders free agents (I say “unofficial” only because the CFL itself hasn’t put out the official list yet). With the Riders in 2024 mode, I’m looking at which players on this list are worth keeping around and who can be let go to try and catch on elsewhere.


Last week, the focus was on the offensive side of the ball. Today, we switch things over to the defense:


Defensive Line

Miles Brown, DeMarcus Christmas, Charbel Dabire, Micah Johnson, Anthony Lanier II, Pete Robertson, Max Parkinson, Caleb Sanders – I like DeMarcus Christmas, but the only defensive tackle that stands out to me is Micah Johnson. If he wants to be back, he should be. He’s an important piece of the Riders’ D. I’m not sure what to think of Anthony Lanier II… he was signed as the highest paid defensive player in 2023 and definitely didn’t deliver on that. And he was played out of position quite often. And Pete Robertson wasn’t the same guy we saw to start 2022 either. I’d likely only bring one of them back and it’s probably Lanier II. These will be interesting decisions by Riders GM Jeremy O’Day.



Larry Dean, Justin Herdman-Reed, Derrick Moncrief, Micah Teitz, Matt Dean, Lukas Ruoss – Larry Dean should be brought back, that’s an absolute given. It hurts to say, but it’s time to let Derrick Moncrief go. He lost his SAM position to C.J. Reavis and Moncrief just can’t play in the secondary. Time to move on. Micah Teitz will likely be brought back, thanks to his passport, but he had a BAD year this year. If the new Defensive Coordinator keeps him closer to the line of scrimmage, sure, bring him back. If the plan is to drop him into coverage, just drop him altogether. And I bring back Matt Dean as well as a depth piece.


Defensive Backs

Jeremy Clark, Amari Henderson, Nelson Lokombo, Nic Marshall, Godfrey Onyeka, C.J. Reavis, Trumaine Washington, Rodney Clemons, Abu Daramy-Swaray, Mark Fields II – I start with C.J. Reavis… MUST sign. He’s the SAM linebacker now, though listed here as a DB. Regardless, he has to be back. Time to finally walk away from Nic Marshall. I know you want a veteran presence back there, but he just gets beat way too much now. I like Amari Henderson and still think he can be a good one. Nelson Lokombo hasn’t done much in his short career so far, but his passport will keep him around. Same with Godfrey Onyeka as he provides a depth piece and plays Special Teams. The rest can be replaced.


Special Teams

Jorgen Hus, Brett Lauther, Ryan Meskell – Jorgen Hus is the long snapper as long as he wants to be. Brett Lauther shook off a tough start to the year and got back to normal as the season went on, so definitely bring him back. Ryan Meskell looked great in his one game, so keep his number close by just in case.


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