The article I’ll reference in this post can be found here (although I hesitate to even give it a platform): 2024 CFL free agent rankings: specialists - 3DownNation
JC Abbot, if you’re reading this: What a mess of an article.
For starters, listing Lirim Hajrullahu as the #1 Free Agent for Kickers and Punters is not only questionable but borders on absurd. Not only has he publicly stated he does not want to play in the CFL, but he also lacks the standout skills that would justify any team “breaking the bank” for him. Did you even watch him play in the USFL? He participated in 5 games and averaged only 40 yards per punt. Further, his directional punting was only O.K., aligning with the league average of 38% of his punts landing inside the 20-yard line. He also struggled on kickoffs, where he managed to kick the ball out of bounds twice, giving his opponents the ball at the 50-yard line.
Placing him above Boris Bede, who is coming off one of the best 3-phase kicking seasons witnessed in the CFL, is a slap in the face. Bede made an impressive 95% of his field goals over 40 attempts, averaged 48 yards per punt (tied for first in the CFL), and continued to dominate kickoffs, averaging 71 yards per kick.
Additionally, ranking him higher than Sergio Castillo seems ridiculous, as Castillo’s excellence is widely recognized and he is especially beloved by the Winnipeg fans. One could even argue that Marc Liegghio should be a higher-priority Free Agent, given his ability to handle all three kicking roles and his significantly younger age than Lirim.
Credit is due for including Matt Mengel as a Free Agent, but I would have at least added some statistics to back it up.
Moving on to Long Snappers, the inclusion of only one long snapper on the Free Agent list is an insult to this crucial and often overlooked position. It’s disheartening to see the absence of Maxime Latour, who started for Toronto in 2022 and played for Calgary in 2023 when Aaron Crawford was injured. Additionally, the 25-year-old Keegan Markgraf, who was vying for a starting spot in Ottawa before the 2023 season, deserved mention.
In conclusion, the quality of this article falls far below the standards one would expect from a leading CFL media outlet. More research would have been welcomed, especially since 3DN is the leader of the CFL’s major media outlets. The players in these positions deserve a more accurate and thoughtful assessment of their skills and contributions. In my opinion, influential platforms must uphold a higher standard of analysis and this article falls short in that regard.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk