CFL.ca's top 30 pending free agents

TORONTO — We are quickly closing in on one of the most highly-anticipated dates on the CFL calendar.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2023/11/29/cfl-cas-top-30-pending-free-agents-9

Argos gotta keep all of them plus take willie jefferson to go with big oak would be fenominal

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I’m looking forward to seeing Damonte Coxie with the Argos next season!

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No one can keep all their quality free agents in the cap era. Especially since Chad Kelly is due to get a big raise this year. Toronto will have to make some tough decisions just like every other team.

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I would not be surprised to see Kelly EXTEND his contact and reduce his 2024 salary.

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Jefferson still has some tread on him but he’s turning 33. Bomber DT great Doug Brown had this to say before last season on Willie. He needs to be on a pitch count. The Bombers depth @ DE, with Hansen out most of the year & injuries to Haba, was often Willie & 2 other guys - Jeffcoat, Haba or, more often than not, Bennett - an undersized DE rookie. Willie played a lot. Out of the gate his 1st 6 games he had 8 sacks, 14 DT’s. He had 7 more DT’s the rest of the way & zero sacks until the last 2 games after the Bombers had 2 byes. He got some rest. There were 6 games where he had no sacks, no tackles at all. Brown was right.

He’d be OK in TO or BC where both clubs often line up with 7 or 8 on the DL rotation & keep everyone fresh. The Bombers have a bunch of decisions to make as they had the highest payroll in 2022 as reported by the CFL & were the most over the CAP. I expect the same this year. With Jefferson & Jeffcoat both coming 33 & both in the top 8 salary wise at their position, if they want to take a run at keeping Schoen, one of them is likely to be cut loose. Three of their 4 starters on DL will be 33 or over. I would not be surprised to see Jake Thomas also gone because, quite frankly @ DT, almost every club is better than what they have now. For the record, I don’t see Willie leaving. Jeffcoat historically is good for 12 games or so &, on a per game basis, top 3 salary wise in the league. He’s good but overpaid.

Oakman is turning 32 & the Argos are loaded @ DT. Oakman’s a beast but when they had ratio problems the Argos sat Oakman & started Hendryx, 27, & Brinkman, 24, instead. Both of them are really good. I love Oakman but can they afford to keep all 3 or is the money better spent elsewhere? The Argos had the 2nd highest player payroll when last reported & I don’t see that changing either.

And of course the Salary and Ops Caps don’t apply to the Argos … they get to use “consultants” as on-field coaches … maybe consultants can play as well …

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I read that medical and training staff don’t count against the cap so I’m hoping the Bombers will take a page out of the Toronto/Hamilton playbook. Welcome Dr. LaPolice as the new OC “consultant”.

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Offensive health consultant.

Hmm. The team may want him to do that, but does he have the maturity to go that road? We’ll have to see.

AN option MAY be to re-sign MBT to a friendlier contract and trade Kelly … Saskatchewan might be a good spot for him … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :laughing:

:rofl:

You really just want Harris to get cut, don’t you? :wink:

Not really … but Kelly seems like an <insert your own favourite term for an “unpleasant person”> and deserves to be stuck on a rebuilding team.

But if AC assumes full/actual OC responsibilities than he might need a QB Coach … that Harris could be an emergency QB-in-waiting would be a bonus … :wink: :laughing:

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Harris just may get cut. He’s been unusually vocal about Rider fans deserving a winner & they will win the GC in 2024. This was before it was announced that Mace will be the new coach in Regina. Bit of self-promotion there IMO. Had Pierce won out I believe he would have looked at bringing in Dru & take a shot @ Schoen.

I’m not a big Trevor fan. Bad player reviews seem to follow him when he leaves a team & he hasn’t been the guy to take any of them to the big game. And he’s turning 38 - not that QB’s necessarily can’t play @ a high level at that age. Add in that he’s had injuries in Edm prior to his MTL stay last year & IMO the Riders will be looking @ bringing in another guy. Dru has pretty much said he will leave if he gets a crack @ starter, Zach has been promoting him, & the inside dope is that Ottawa & Hamilton for sure are looking @ QB options. :sunglasses:

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You’ll never mistake Kelly for a box of balloons BUT you don’t walk away from a QB that was 15-1. And he was a big reason for bigger crowds in Toronto. He’s not the biggest diva that’s put on a uniform in TO or completely ignored the media. Personally I don’t see him going anywhere.

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I hope Ticats can get rid of QB Bo Levi Mitchell and go shopping!

Harris got beat out last year in camp but they HAD to play him because of the $$$$. Most people who were at training camp felt Patterson won the job including players. Dickie followed his gut and got fired. The first signing and extension after the last game quietly was Patterson. Dickie shelved him after a great performance vs BC in pre-Season. They will play the best player this year in a must win season. The fans need a young exciting player.

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You can forget about Jefferson.
“We’ve built something amazing here in Winnipeg” - Winnipeg Blue Bombers

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This TOP ARTICLE on CFL.ca today (which is Dec. 10th) on the CFL’s official news website was originally posted on November 29th. That means for almost 2 weeks no major CFL story has pushed this story out of the number 1 spot. Now this begs the question: Is anybody working at the CFL’s Head Office, anybody??? Also, here we are only 2 weeks from Christmas and NO 2024 CFL SCHEDULE HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!!! Does the CFL think they’ll be a rush of Christmas orders if they come out with the schedule on December 24th? Is Randy Ambrosie trying to kill the CFL? Hopefully the Board of Governors can take Randy to the woodshed at their Winter meetings for his Bad Management of the CFL Schedule. It should be a LEAGUE BUSINESS STANDARD that the next year schedule is announced the week before Grey Cup Week so that:

  1. Tickets can be purchased during the excitement and media exposure of Grey Cup Week.
  2. Fans can take advantage of annual Airline Black Friday Sales to attend CFL away games.
  3. Fans can buy Season Tickets as their major Christmas Present to their families.
    The CFL can work smarter unless they want to return to the Roller Coaster of CFL teams boarding on the very edge of financial insolvency. CFL Board of Governors is that the CFL you want???

Key facts are at hand in the US that favour free agency, including of the best American players, for the CFL.

The CFL has done a solid job in signing free agents earlier for the 2024 season than it certainly did in late 2022 for the 2023 season. We were on the CFL’s case in the spring league threads and other threads a year ago as well.