Pending Lions free agents

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Blitz
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:48 am

TheLionKing wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:02 pm
VictoriaFan wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:31 am
Wally likes to get rid of vets that are getting older looking for more money,
Wish he would do that with his assistants.
...and himself!! :)

The player I would most hate to lose is Hunter Steward. He is a National who can play both left tackle and left guard. He is huge, athletic, and talented. He will likely give the NFL a try but if he returns to the CFL, I highly doubt he will be back with our Leos. CFL teams will covet a National who can play left tackle and pay dearly for it.

Steward can also get a huge pay raise and play left tackle, his natural position with another CFL team rather than continuing to play guard for Dorazio and Buono.

We learned a painful price last season in signing Williams and having to trade Olifioye. Good offensive linemen are gems and especially Nationals who can play left tackle, a rare commodity.

There is a decent chance we could get Boyko here next year to replace Hunter Steward but I highly doubt he will be as good as Steward.

For me, our priority signing has to be Cody Husband.

With Manny and others needing raises, Williams will likely be dropped from the roster and his salary was going to be higher this season than last.

On defense, our prior signings need to be Yell and Lee. I can see us dropping Buddy Jackson. I thought James looked excellent at corner.

I believe we should drop Brooks on our defensive line and Craig Roh too and really revamp our defensive line while keeping Nationals Forde and Menard, who are very good National depth players.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

Odie
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Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:09 am

I agree, Blitz- on most counts.

I would also add Benson as a priority. Long snappers are really under appreciated and critical aspects of the team. Good ones are hard to find and rarely noticed... bad ones, well, you see them pretty fast. Benson is a very good long snapper and gets downfield in coverage fast. He’s fast, strong, tough and talented. His loss would be felt very quickly.

Husband is a huge signing priority as well- he’s become a very good national centre.

I think we used Williams wrong, but he’s the one cog I don’t think our offence misses- shaq Johnson, on the other hand, is a nationa speedster who is only getting better. I want to see what he can do and would be terrified of him in another uniform. Nick Moore is also an important part- he may not be as fast as Williams, but the lions are just plain better when he is on the field. And Manny is manny- not many like thy dude in many respects and I’d be sad to see him go.

On D, I hope we can retain purifoy- Lee has played well in stretches as well. I wouldn’t break the bank, however. Not sure about Yell- not even sure he wants to be back. He’s good, but I thought teams went after him and Lee a bit in the later stretches of the season. But I don’t watch tape, so my opinion may be out to lunch.

I like the look of our lb corps- especially with Awe and Davis (and maybe Herdman) in the wings.

D line is our Achilles heel. I don’t know what Brooks contract looks like, but that might be a salary to look at moving out- forde and menard are quality nationals who are hard to find... I hope we can retain them. I also think Roh is worth re signing. He’s pretty good when he has a bookend on the other side we have been desperately missing. Bazzie can play, but I’m dumbfounded as to why we drop him into pss coverage when we need a rush specialist. Thought we had something special in Evans, but not sure about his injury status. There are some interesting d linemen who might be available and we need a couple studs if we are going to turn this ship around.

And, to add controversy- I like Jennings and Lulay, but if Trevor Harris is available for any reason, I’d love to see our lions take a run at him.... also, I’m very curious what mitchel gale can do with a training camp... I like what he brings, but need to see him play...

My 2 cents... for what it’s worth

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Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:22 pm

Mitchell Gale won't be back. If he is I have serious concerns about whomever makes that call. He was strictly a veteran to backfill when Lulay was lost for the season. BC is his 6th stop and 5th team in his now 5 year CFL career.
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DanoT
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:52 am

The problem with Brooks isn't Brooks himself but rather the problem is how the Lions utilize him (where have I heard that before?). Brooks is not big enough to be a nose tackle who plugs up the middle as a run stopper and takes a double team but he could do well playing beside a true nose tackle.

Blitz
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Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 am

Odie wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:09 am
I agree, Blitz- on most counts.

I would also add Benson as a priority. Long snappers are really under appreciated and critical aspects of the team. Good ones are hard to find and rarely noticed... bad ones, well, you see them pretty fast. Benson is a very good long snapper and gets downfield in coverage fast. He’s fast, strong, tough and talented. His loss would be felt very quickly.

Husband is a huge signing priority as well- he’s become a very good national centre.

I think we used Williams wrong, but he’s the one cog I don’t think our offence misses- shaq Johnson, on the other hand, is a nationa speedster who is only getting better. I want to see what he can do and would be terrified of him in another uniform. Nick Moore is also an important part- he may not be as fast as Williams, but the lions are just plain better when he is on the field. And Manny is manny- not many like thy dude in many respects and I’d be sad to see him go.

On D, I hope we can retain purifoy- Lee has played well in stretches as well. I wouldn’t break the bank, however. Not sure about Yell- not even sure he wants to be back. He’s good, but I thought teams went after him and Lee a bit in the later stretches of the season. But I don’t watch tape, so my opinion may be out to lunch.

I like the look of our lb corps- especially with Awe and Davis (and maybe Herdman) in the wings.

D line is our Achilles heel. I don’t know what Brooks contract looks like, but that might be a salary to look at moving out- forde and menard are quality nationals who are hard to find... I hope we can retain them. I also think Roh is worth re signing. He’s pretty good when he has a bookend on the other side we have been desperately missing. Bazzie can play, but I’m dumbfounded as to why we drop him into pss coverage when we need a rush specialist. Thought we had something special in Evans, but not sure about his injury status. There are some interesting d linemen who might be available and we need a couple studs if we are going to turn this ship around.

And, to add controversy- I like Jennings and Lulay, but if Trevor Harris is available for any reason, I’d love to see our lions take a run at him.... also, I’m very curious what mitchel gale can do with a training camp... I like what he brings, but need to see him play...

My 2 cents... for what it’s worth
Enjoyed reading your post Odie. I agree the long snapper position is an important one and Benson is a good one. I also agree that teams went after Yell and Lee a little bit more later in the season and with some success but Yell and Lee, overall, were good this season.

I like Purifoy too but I wish we had kept him at nickel and used Fenner at wideside halfback. But I like both at either position.

The personnel we had at wideside corner were criticized this season but the problem is much more than a personnel issue. We started the season with Thompson at wideside corner, then used Purifoy there for a game, then moved Gaitor outside, then released him and used Buddy Jackson and finally ended the season with Kendall James playing there.

Kenyan Parker, who got some playing time there in 2016 and played so well with his opportunity and who was penciled in as the starter for 2017 prior to the season never got a sniff.

However, the way we play zone defense, the wide side corner is always subject to criticism. Often he is responsible for the deep flat but when we get burned behind on the deep 1/3 of the wide side of the field, our wideside corner is the scapegoat. The problem is that we have had way too much confusion for a number of seasons now with our wide side. Usually its assignment breakdowns because we don't know who to cover in zone.

You can't ask a corner to cover both the deep flat and the deep wide side of the field and opposing teams make sure they send receivers into both areas as well as the short flat because our linebackers are zone covering inside.

The reason that we dropped Bazzie off at times is because we were zone blitzing. Its not uncommon in a zone blitz to send a linebacker on the blitz and to drop off a defensive lineman to cover the linebacker's pass zone area. We began zone blitzing more often towards the end of the season.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:56 am

DanoT wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:52 am
The problem with Brooks isn't Brooks himself but rather the problem is how the Lions utilize him (where have I heard that before?). Brooks is not big enough to be a nose tackle who plugs up the middle as a run stopper and takes a double team but he could do well playing beside a true nose tackle.
Prototypical nose tackles don't really exist in the CFL. Drake Nevis in Winnipeg at 6' 308# and Ted Laurent at 6'1" 299 are about as close as a CFL interior DL get. Everybody else patrolling CFL interior DLs are around Brooks' size give or take an inch or couple pounds.
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:03 am

I think if Wally is back Manny is gone. Not because of Wally's history of cutting veterans approaching their best-before date (Manny is still a season or two from that) but because Manny is one of those players who "fails to execute" when the coaches are not doing their jobs well. We saw that in 2015 when Tedford stubbornly refused to give Jennings a chance, even though Beck was about as effective as a bag of wet cement. Manny had quit on Tedford and was taking some other players down with him. I even posted that Manny should be cut.

Then Beck gets hurt and Tedford has no choice but to turn to Jennings. Suddenly the Manny Show was back. And not just Manny, but a handful of other players that seemingly had no interest in playing for Tedford as long as Beck was the starter.

Wally is smart enough to know he needs leaders on his team. But not a leader like Manny who could wind up leading a palace coup. Wally needs leaders like Ryan Philips who had his back no matter what.... at least until Wally stabbed them in their back. Manny knows there is no loyalty in Wally World. If Wally returns as head coach don't be surprised to see Manny declare he wants to play elsewhere before Wally gets a chance to say he won't re-sign him.

If it was me, I'd re-sign Manny in a heartbeat. But I won't be surprised to see the Manny Show wearing green and white next season while the "winningest coach in CFL history" plods along to another non-playoff finish.

JohnnyMusso
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:11 pm

If he is let go, someone will sign him. Riders are pretty loaded at receiver, but no surprise ifJones would sign him. Toronto could use him too, for that is a weakness with them.

I think Manny is back, unless he wants a lot of money and probably likely. Buono may let him walk and spend the money elsewhere. I agree with Lowell U. They need to step to the plate and spend money one really good veteran pass rusher and offensive lineman. Both sides of the ball were their Achilles heal this year.

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CardiacKid
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:56 am

JohnnyMusso wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:11 pm
If he is let go, someone will sign him. Riders are pretty loaded at receiver, but no surprise ifJones would sign him. Toronto could use him too, for that is a weakness with them.

I think Manny is back, unless he wants a lot of money and probably likely. Buono may let him walk and spend the money elsewhere. I agree with Lowell U. They need to step to the plate and spend money one really good veteran pass rusher and offensive lineman. Both sides of the ball were their Achilles heal this year.
Manny was talking on Ottawa radio about his free agency and hinted at perhaps being a RedBlack next year.

maxlion
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:00 am

Manny and Adarius Bowman were, I believe, the highest paid receivers in 2017, and both were probably a bit overpaid for their actual contribution. Manny may still be a top 10 receiver, but not a top 5 (not sure that he ever has been). If he wants to take a fair offer, I'd welcome him back. If he wants the lions to overpay to keep him, I'd let him go.

JohnnyMusso
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Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:12 pm

Boseko Lokombo has signed with #49ers practice squad according to Farhan L.

So still hanging around NFL.

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Hambone
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Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:35 am

TSN has posted a list of potential FAs. While some are lamenting the long list of Lions, uncharacteristically long under Wally, the number puts them middle of the pack. I would assume the list is unofficial but for what it's worth:
BCL - 22
EDM - 37
CGY - 27
SSK - 22
WPG - 18
HAM - 17
TOR - 22
OTT - 25
MTL - 26
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B.C.FAN
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:33 am

Jamie Nye of cfl.ca has put together a list of the best potential CFL free agents at each position group. If Ed Hervey wants to bolster the offensive and defensive lines through free agency, there could be some impact players available, though the pickings on the O-line are fairly slim.
OFFENSIVE LINE

Stanley Bryant
Brad Erdos*
Alex Mateas*
Cody Husband*
Joel Figueroa
Dan Clark*
Travis Bond
DEFENSIVE END

Willie Jefferson
Alex Bazzie
Justin Capicciotti*
Jamaal Westerman*
DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Ted Laurent*
Cleyon Laing*
Zack Evans*
Euclid Cummings
(* National)

NYE: BUILDING A 2018 PENDING FA ALL-STAR TEAM
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CardiacKid
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:57 am

With 37 FAs, the 'Schmoes would appear ripe for picking so Hervey might be focusing a lot of his energy on them. Not sure who their FAs are but I feel pretty comfortable in saying their OLine is not worth tapping. Their DLine however, is a totally different story....

Willie Jefferson has already re-upped with the Riders so he is off the table...unfortunately.

As far as linemen I would take a gander at Zack Evans, Alex Mateas and maybe Cleyon Laing. I say maybe because he had (has?) a tendency to take stupid penalties after the whistle.

Some folks have mentioned James Franklin as a possible target but I have to believe the Riders will be all over getting his signature on the dotted line.

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Hambone
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Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:04 am

CardiacKid wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:57 am
With 37 FAs, the 'Schmoes would appear ripe for picking so Hervey might be focusing a lot of his energy on them. Not sure who their FAs are but I feel pretty comfortable in saying their OLine is not worth tapping. Their DLine however, is a totally different story....

Willie Jefferson has already re-upped with the Riders so he is off the table...unfortunately.

As far as linemen I would take a gander at Zack Evans, Alex Mateas and maybe Cleyon Laing. I say maybe because he had (has?) a tendency to take stupid penalties after the whistle.

Some folks have mentioned James Franklin as a possible target but I have to believe the Riders will be all over getting his signature on the dotted line.
Big part of EE's long list might be the simple fact they had an incredible number of injuries to deal with. By extension their overall roster numbers became bloated. They have to get younger in many areas. I think they had 6 DL including almost all of their starters on the wrong side of 30. Sherritt and Greenwood are also up there as well as some receivers such as Bowman. Esk fans I spend lots of time with at Grey Cup have already resigned themselves to the likelihood Zylstra will be gone south and Grymes and Walker are likely to take another run at the NFL. The pickings might be fairly slim compared to the volume available.
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