BC Lions Free Agents Signings & Signings around the CFL

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Gridiron Ernie
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The_Pauser wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:01 pm
Lions sign Kenny Ladler. Huge signing for our secondary.
Sure is! Agreed! He was a CFL all-star and patrolled the SAM linebacker position through his 2 seasons with Edmonton. However, interestingly, I see him listed some places online as safety. I'm not sure what position he played in his couple seasons with the NFL. But whatever the case, that certainly verifies the versatility that Hervey speaks of in reference to Ladler. He's got experience under his belt, but only 27. Boy, did we need someone exactly like this, who IMO really fits with our needs.


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Gridiron Ernie
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...and just a quick follow-up comment; I see the Lions roster has him listed as LB, not DB, so likely, as has been suggested somewhere, he'll be filling the shoes Chris Edwards vacated at SAM. Personally I think this is a solid upgrade at that position.


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B.C.FAN
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Ladler is a great addition. The Lions’ biggest remaining need is for a veteran American middle linebacker.


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Gridiron Ernie
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B.C.FAN wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:09 pm
Ladler is a great addition. The Lions’ biggest remaining need is for a veteran American middle linebacker.
Perhaps Kevin Haynes will develop rapidly enough to fit that spot in his second year with us. Not a vet, but...
My big question-mark hovers over the vacated safety spot. Dozier's gone, and while Ladler apparently can play back there he's slotted for LB.
Scanning over the current roster I don't see any exciting or even solid prospect for safety. We might be dependent on rookie training camp surprises. They do happen!


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B.C.FAN
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Gridiron Ernie wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:52 pm
B.C.FAN wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:09 pm
Ladler is a great addition. The Lions’ biggest remaining need is for a veteran American middle linebacker.
Perhaps Kevin Haynes will develop rapidly enough to fit that spot in his second year with us. Not a vet, but...
My big question-mark hovers over the vacated safety spot. Dozier's gone, and while Ladler apparently can play back there he's slotted for LB.
Scanning over the current roster I don't see any exciting or even solid prospect for safety. We might be dependent on rookie training camp surprises. They do happen!
I see Isaiah Guzylak-Messam as the most likely bet for safety. If the Lions start three true nationals on the O-line and three receivers, they need just one on defence. Guzylak-Messam played most of last season at WILL, and the Lions have many an abundance of nationals who could back him up there. That would allow them to play an American safety but there is no obvious candidate. Keon Lyn lasted 30 minutes in the position last year.

Ideally, I would like to see Guzylak-Messam at safety, Haynes at WILL and a veteran American at MAC but if the current roster stands, Haynes may be the best bet at middle linebacker.


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I like this signing and agree it is an upgrade, but this question was asked on 3 Down Nation:

How can Lions afford him?

Many think Lions are over the cap and I agree. This is a good signing, but I think before training camp, 1 or 2 vets will be cut for Lions must be close to cap if not over. Something has to give and find it hard to believe they are under with the money they spend during free agency.


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Gridiron Ernie
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Just a thought, but free agent RedBlack CB Jonathan Rose is still available so far as I know. Hmm... I wonder if he's versatile to maybe switch to playing safety? Rick Campbell would know better than anyone I guess. But yeah, Guzylak-Messam seems a likely possibility, although like you (B.C.FAN) indicated he was mostly at WILL throughout last season. I may be mistaken, but I thought he played better at WILL than at safety. Or maybe he was just getting better with experience/games played, and will continue to be better wherever they place him.


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The_Pauser wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:01 pm
Lions sign Kenny Ladler. Huge signing for our secondary.
That sounds like a very exciting signing and I'm assuming the low mileage over the last two seasons might be a benefit.

Top 40 left out there:

https://3downnation.com/2020/02/25/top- ... ee-agents/

I agree sort of with the guy who commented not to sign them but just use them for the 10 th team. I have an idea. Have the team play in different venues next year. Do something original. I still can't grasp why Brandon Bridge gets little love.


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B.C.FAN
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JohnnyMusso wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:40 pm
I like this signing and agree it is an upgrade, but this question was asked on 3 Down Nation:

How can Lions afford him?

Many think Lions are over the cap and I agree. This is a good signing, but I think before training camp, 1 or 2 vets will be cut for Lions must be close to cap if not over. Something has to give and find it hard to believe they are under with the money they spend during free agency.
Farhan Lalji was on TSN 1040 today with Donnie and the Moj. He said the Lions are hoping to renegotiate the contracts of Mike Reilly and Sukh Chungh. He also called the signing of DB Kenny Ladler a "home run" for the Lions. He said they're largely done in the veteran free agent market and will have to rely on their scouting department to find value in their rookie free agents to fill out their roster, as other teams do.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1232769814763933696


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Hambone
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JohnnyMusso wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:40 pm
I like this signing and agree it is an upgrade, but this question was asked on 3 Down Nation:

How can Lions afford him?

Many think Lions are over the cap and I agree. This is a good signing, but I think before training camp, 1 or 2 vets will be cut for Lions must be close to cap if not over. Something has to give and find it hard to believe they are under with the money they spend during free agency.
As usual many fans obsess with who is getting added and all but disregard the contracts that are off the books. I think one really has to look at both sides of that coin and also look at things not in terms of individual players but rather in terms of position groups.

By my count 9 starters from the last half of 2019 are off the books. Menard & Luke with a combined 12 starts effectively make that a 10th starter. Coming in I'd say that only Rhymes and Mathews are newcomers assured of starting spots on offense while the 4 DL; Johnson, Casher, Tavai and Brown plus Ladler are newcomers to start on D. And of course Rainey on special teams. The rest of the guys signed are more likely looked at for depth.

QB:
Out: backup O'Brien
In: backup Arndt
Effect: Maybe a wash but likely small savings going from a 6th year veteran to a QB who hadn't stepped onto the field prior to 2019.

OL:
Out: Starting RG David Foucault and starting RT Justin Renfrow
In: Ryker Mathews
Effect: Should be some savings given Foucault was a NAT who started with a pretty good deal coming out of the NFL.

WR:
Out: Duron Carter and depth NAT Rashaun Simonise
In: Dominique Rhymes, Caleb Holley and depth NAT Devon Bailey
Effect: Carter was no doubt paid a lot more than Rhymes' rumoured $95K, perhaps close to double. Holley should be less than Rhymes if he even sticks. Regardless he's being brought in for depth not to be part of the main core. Simonise and Bailey are washes. Decent savings here but reduced by new deal for Durant..

DL:
Out: Odell Willis, Shawn Lemon and 2 NATs Junior Luke, David Menard who combined for 12 starts
In: Micah Johnson, Chris Casher, JR Tavai, Ryan Brown
Effect: No doubt Johnson is the big bread earner here. Willis and Lemon would have been paid handsomely as well. Casher, Tavai and Brown are young vets just starting to establish themselves. Johnson's deal will make for increased overall cost for the position group. How much though is a good question. Willis + Lemon out might = Johnson + Casher in.

LB:
Out: Maleki Harris, Chris Edwards (NFL)
In: Likely Kenny Ladler into Edwards spot.
Effect: Harris and Edwards were both FA signings a year ago

SECONDARY:
Out: Branden Dozier, Crezdon Butler and NAT sometimes starter Anthony Thompson and depth DB Josh Woodman.
In: Possibly Ladler if he doesn't take Edwards spot at OLB. Otherwise only have added a couple of NAT depth players.

Special Teams:
Out: KR Ryan Lankford, PK Sergio Castillo and P Josh Bartel
In: KR Chris Rainey and so far 2 rookies PK Greg Hutchins from UBC and P Stefan Flintoft out of UCLA
Effect: Likely a wash. More for Rainey but offset by 2 rookie kickers replacing 2 veterans.


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Toppy Vann
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Hambone that is a great summary and overview of where they are at these days.

Restructuring QB contract is interesting given that this same GM was the one who created this need just a season back.

Not sure how these teams feel they can grow the game with near invisible profiles in leadership roles. At least Wally was always on the air waves and in the community. I had hoped Wally would be President as long as Braley owned the team.


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Gridiron Ernie
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Real interesting perspective/insights, Hambone. You make a solid amount of sense. Thanks for a good read.

About special teams: I look at our current place-kicker/punter personnel and see only large question-marks hanging over them. To me that area of the roster is a significant unknown. I don't know what we might be in for this season on special teams if these are the guys we go with. But perhaps they will be nice surprises. Like others have wondered, I too wonder if Sergio C. might be considering returning (doing both XFL & CFL) however I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that might be contrary to league rules, as pointed out by someone somewhere recently. (?) I think in a 3DownN article about "double-dipping".


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Gridiron Ernie wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:45 am
Real interesting perspective/insights, Hambone. You make a solid amount of sense. Thanks for a good read.

About special teams: I look at our current place-kicker/punter personnel and see only large question-marks hanging over them. To me that area of the roster is a significant unknown. I don't know what we might be in for this season on special teams if these are the guys we go with. But perhaps they will be nice surprises. Like others have wondered, I too wonder if Sergio C. might be considering returning (doing both XFL & CFL) however I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that might be contrary to league rules, as pointed out by someone somewhere recently. (?) I think in a 3DownN article about "double-dipping".
I think double-dipping might be a one way thing. CFL CBA and standard contracts don't allow for a player under a CFL contract to play in another league. Only way they can do that is to either become a CFL FA when their contract expires and sign in the XFL as Derek Dennis and Armanti Edwards did or be released ala SJ Green, Sergio Castillo and Korey Toomer. On the flip side I don't think there's anything in the XFL contracts that stop a player from signing in the NFL, CFL or any other league once their seasons end. There is info in the link below that indicates players in the XFL can sign in the NFL once their XFL season ends which means April 26th at the latest as that's the day after the XFL Championship game. The article doesn't say anything about CFL but would the XFL differentiate between NFL and XFL in their contract language. Keep in mind there is no XFL players union or CBA.
https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2 ... contracts/

Seems to me the only thing stopping double dipping is the CFL contract. If a player is still on a CFL contract they can't go to the XFL to double dip in the first place. But if they aren't then it seems like they can fill their boots, head to the XFL and be free to return to the CFL in time for training camp.


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David
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It might be fine for someone like Sergio Castillo to play in both leagues (and I suspect he will be coming back to BC after the XFL season concludes). But I have a hard time believing a physically demanding position such as middle linebacker for 31-year old Korey Toomer could be sustainable. This would mean playing a 10-game XFL season (I'm not even counting pre and post season here!) then come up north and play another, let's say 19 games.

I am willing to bet that injuries and the physical demands of this collision sport would render him ineffective after about Week 14 up here. Sure, the space between seasons and the 3 CFL bye weeks come in handy, but just think of the wear and tear this much football would have on the body.


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B.C.FAN
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David wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:57 pm
It might be fine for someone like Sergio Castillo to play in both leagues (and I suspect he will be coming back to BC after the XFL season concludes). But I have a hard time believing a physically demanding position such as middle linebacker for 31-year old Korey Toomer could be sustainable. This would mean playing a 10-game XFL season (I'm not even counting pre and post season here!) then come up north and play another, let's say 19 games.

I am willing to bet that injuries and the physical demands of this collision sport would render him ineffective after about Week 14 up here. Sure, the space between seasons and the 3 CFL bye weeks come in handy, but just think of the wear and tear this much football would have on the body.


DH :cool:
Valid point but in Toomer's case he has yet to see the field after three weeks of a 10-week schedule. He might get through the XFL season without putting much mileage on his 31-year-old body.


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