Two major themes keep coming up in reference to the REDBLACKS high amount of CFL free agent signings.
One is that they have won free agency.
The other is you cant build a winning team through free agency
Neither is the case.
There were several ways available in which to acquire players in 2014.
Canadian Draft in 2014 and limited 2013 red shirt NCAA Juniors
Released CFL players.
Expansion draft offered several good players. The two drafts as well they got several really good players. The rest gave them limited options.
One of the weakest position pool of players available in the expansion draft was at receiver.
2015 CFL free agency, Receiver was one of the deepest positions.
With that REDBLACKS were able to acquire a much higher grade of receivers.
Essencially they used free agency like an upgraded pool of expansion draft players. Like the expansion draft they were given time to prepare a plan of who they wanted to select. Hence the reason they were able to sign so many so quickly.
Jackson, Ellingson, Sinopoli All recent CFL starters or emerging starter with some high production. All with pro football experience. All in crowded situations with their former teams.
Both Jackson and Ellingson have put up an 800 yard plus season. Both had a second good season with about half of that production. Their secondary season's they ended up being odd man out among other good starting receivers.
Ellingson prior to CFL 2011 and 2012 released after NFL training camp. He got his time on the field in the Arena football league. Playing good parts of those season, leaving early with NFL then CFL teams signing him off the AFL and onto resective leagues TCs
Jackson playing at U Buffalo with Drew Willy. played two season in lower division indoor leagues. being from Rochester, NY and playing at UB he played with regional Erie team in 2011. 2012 in CHI.
Sinopoli was emerging as a starter. In '11 and '12 QB with Calgary swtiching to receiver in '13 quickly gained regular time, 2014 injuries and crowded situation at receiver limited his time.
SirVincent Rogers LT filled a big need as a starting LT. 2 seasons with the Argo's. 2013 Season with Toronto. was behind another Starting LT Tony Washington now for EDM. Got a lot of time as a key back up playing both OT spots. At LT if Washington was out. RT with National VanZeyl starting on the right side of the Line at RG or RT. got SirV in the lineup.
2014 emerged as equal to incumbent washington affording the Argo's to deal Washington to EDM.
Plenty of pro expereince before that. Injury issues suffered late in his NCAA career at Houston followed him to the NFL and UFL in 2009-2010. He shook the injuries starting a full season in 2012 in the AFL. Hence his signing with Argo's in '13 and 14 season. has been healthy ever since making him a top CFL LT. which in turn made him one of two top FA LTs cashing in with the RBs.
Compare them to who was at those positions in 2014 and can see the big upgrades.