Butler may not play this season


Bad news, so what are our options now for a NAT safety, Maybe F/A DB Chris Rwabukamba is an option now
Mike Daly will certainly be given a chance, Neil King got signed by EDM

Drew has posted some options
Loss of Butler poses significant challenge for Ticats
Posted on March 23, 2016 by Drew Edwards // 1 Comment

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have suffered their first major injury of the 2016 season and the first game is still 100 days away.

News that all-star Canadian safety Craig Butler will likely miss the entire year as a result of knee issues present the Ticats with a major hole to fill. Butler’s name was written on the team’s depth chart in pen, an unquestioned lock to be of seven national starters.

The 27-year-old has not only been an elite-level player for Hamilton but a versatile one as well, a guy that can play multiple positions – including the tough strong side linebacker spot – and provide key ratio flexibility. Without him, the Ticats will have to make some tough decisions that could potentially impact both sides of the ball.

Option number one may be to promote third-year man Mike Daly into a starting spot. The McMaster product made six starts last season and played well, registering three interceptions and showing a nose for the football – a skill he attributes in part to working closely with Butler last off-season. He’s a bit smaller than his teammate and 15 pounds lighter so durability will be a question mark.

Other possibilities including moving guys around and making a ratio change. The Ticats could move Courtney Stephen to safety while playing four American defensive backs, then insert another Canadian elsewhere. Frederic Plesius could get a shot at middle linebacker, the team could use two national defensive tackles or two Canadian wide receivers, areas where they have decent depth.

Butler’s injury could also affect the team’s draft strategy. If they elect to start both Daly and Stephen, Canadian depth in the secondary could quickly become an issue, particularly after the departures of Mike Edem and Neil King via free agency. There are several highly-touted prospects in the upcoming draft class including Michigan State’s Arjen Colquhoun and UBC’s Taylor Loffler.

At the very least, the Ticats may be forced into going away from their preferred approach – drafting the best player available, regardless of position – to something that targets a position where they need support.

Speaking of free agency, Butler’s injury makes the re-signing of Canadian’s Stephen and defensive tackle Ted Laurent all that more important. The loss of all of three of those players, along with national defensive linemen Arnaud Gascon-Nadon and Brian Bulcke (who did sign elsewhere) would have been catastrophic when coupled with Butler’s injury.

Of course that the Ticats don’t appear to have known about the severity of Butler’s injury before free agency opened is yet another stroke of bad luck.

Which is, of course, nothing new. Hamilton lost not one but two Canadian players to freak off-season injuries before the 2015 campaign when both defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh and receiver Spencer Watt tore their Achilles in separate training incidents. Both expect to be back this season.

But losing Butler is something different: replacing a proven, all-star national player will be the first substantial challenge for the Ticats this season.[/b]


Definitely NOT good news. Hate it when injuries start long before the season and are serious enough to keep players sidelined for the entire year! :cry: :x

This write-up in the Western news The Gazette from last year might interest some of you guys. I hope his knee issues are not career ending for him:

A champion at every level - Craig Butler's passion for football was ignited at age four and he hasn't looked back since. Now in the CFL, Butler has his eyes set on a second Grey Cup.

[url=http://www.westerngazette.ca/magazine/a-champion-at-every-level/article_dd19ae8c-90b0-11e5-b26c-bf32d903cac5.html]http://www.westerngazette.ca/magazine/a ... 3cac5.html[/url]

Mike Daly will fill in quite nicely.

Mike Daly should fill in nicely, my only concern is that Neil King is now gone behind him and Mike Edem who probably couldve been 1a 1b with Daly. We should still go OL or WR in round 1 and kicker in round 2 IMO

Butler is a good player, but Daly proved to me last year that he can be an effective starter.

I think we have enough starting Canadians at other positions (2 receivers, 3 O linemen, 2 DL, Stephens in the secondary) that we can actually start imports at all other positions if we need to.

Regardless, perhaps we now draft a DB high now, to add depth behind Daly at safety.

Butler is on the last year of a $150K contract, If he is injured that won't count towards the Cap
Tillman and Austin now have some cap to spend

A couple of F/A's we could sign to a 1 yr contract

29 yr old Rwabukamba is a NAT safety F/A just released by the Lions

And 31 yr old Brackenridge is an import but a good hard hitting veteran all star player

oskee-eddie ?@oskeeeddie 19h19 hours ago
@TBrack41 come to the black and gold

TYRON BRACKENRIDGE ?@TBrack41 18h18 hours ago
@oskeeeddie All they have to do is call..

Next man Up !!!!!! :rockin: #35 :rockin:


Teams are still stuck with salaries even if they don't count against the cap.
I know that his salary doesn't go against the cap but do they pay him if he was injured in the off season??

I read recently (I think on 3 down nation) that Butlers contract was renegotiated/restructured this month , probably partially because of the injury. It said, he will be paid for the upcoming season but will not be paid a hefty bonus due this month. I think something similar was done last year for Gaydosh when he got hurt in the off season .
I would not be surprised that Butler also signed a extension , but I am just speculating this.

If he's still under contract (which he is), then yes. And I don't think a player can be cut if he's injured, although not sure about that. So yes, the team still has to cover his salary, but he'll be on the six-game (at least) injury list for the entire season so it doesn't contribute to the cap.

You would think that some insurance company would have figured out a way to make money from this, offering teams salary insurance for a (large) premium. Some years they'd lose money, but most years they'd come out ahead. The way to sell it to the teams would be to say it would provide salary expense consistency year over year. (Perhaps this is already in place?)

Here is what Justin Dunk said on 3 Down Nation:

Butler is dealing with a knee issue that’s put him in danger of missing the entire 2016 campaign. The 27-year-old was due a sizeable bonus in early March but re-negotiated his contract. Although he did not receive that off-season payment, Butler will be paid while he recovers. The re-worked deal displays the Ticats’ commitment to Butler by keeping him on through the uncertainty of the setback when they could’ve cut him and walked away.


Doesn't mention a contract extension, per se, but it would make sense for both parties.

Another benefit is good PR for the team. Any team who treats a veteran player in a fair way, can only make FA's more likely to sign with them.


Many contracts have a Bonus to be paid after passing his physical for training camp. I know that Fantuz had that as his only bonus.
Butler obviously will not pass his physical, so they probably re-structured his contract accordingly.
I'm sure that Butler will be well taken care of, both financially and medically
They don't call him "Caretaker" for nothing! :thup:

Brack attack is a nice option IMO. Lets start 2 National D-Linemen and Daley can back-up

Ugh.. It's starting already

I would say yes to both of them providing the price is right. We are down in numbers and depth in the back field having lost 2 Imports to FA (Stewart/Gainey) and 3 Canadians now with the loss of Butler to go along with the losses of Edem and King to FA.
The Canadian Solution:
We can still start both Stephen and Daly but they both require back-ups behind them. What would work could be the signing of Rwabukamba and the drafting hopefully with our 5th pick of Tyler Loffler from UBC or if he is still available Arjen Colquhoun from Michigan.

The American Solution:
The team signs Brackenridge who while I admit he did have a below par season last year(who didn't in Saskatchewan last year ?) He could serve as one of our 4 DI's and back-up DB's and rotate in where necessary and also contribute on Special teams replacing Stewart in that capacity this season.

Projected starting DB's and back-ups
Emanuel Davis
Rico Murray
DeMond Washington
Courtney Stephen
Mike Daly
Tyrone Brackenridge (DI)
Chris Rwabukumba
Tyler Loffler or Arjen Colquhuan
Tevrin Brandon (DI)
Johnny Sears would also be in the mix but I have a strong suspicion that if he can stay healthy replaces Harris at LB rotating with Murray as our two hybrids on Defence this season. Brackenridge if I'm not mistaken also played some at LB with the Riders and could also be considered a DB/LB hybrid if signed for this season. Lastly I agree with Grover on the 1 year contract scenario as I feel that both these players would be strictly stop gap and plugins for us this season only.

I just read that Butler has a season ending injury that requires surgery and will be out for the season. Wow how many Ti-Cat players is that now that have gone through the injury bug and either missed many games or an entire season?

I wish Craig Butler all the best in his upcoming surgery or treatment and recovery but you have to wonder why and how have so many injuries occurred to players on this team?

It's unbelievable how many players this team has lost due to injury and many before the season has even started.

Brian Bulke just signed with the Argos this off-season, although I'm happy for him that he found a team to continue his career but unfortunately not here in Steeltown, we never really saw him play here at all due to injuries over the last two years and the same goes for many, many other players. The Tiger-Cats of the last two years could have easily have built a separate team of high quality first string players just from the ones injured.

The Cats over the last two seasons have been a revolving door of injuries and although Coach Austin has done a great job of replacements you have to wonder how so many are getting injured in the first place?

Is it off-season training, stress, or having to hold hold down two careers, injury on the turf or from the training program of each athlete, what is it?