February 10,2015 potential free agents.

I never wrote that a change in ratio/decrease of Nat. starters from 7 to 5 will mean that less players will try the NFL. I understand that players will always try/hope for a much higher salary than in the CFL; furthermore, quite normal that an Int. player wants to play in his Country.

If there are less Nat.starters it will be easier to replace when one goes to the NFL. Much more easier to replace a Duron Carter,a John Chiles than a Ben Heenan. An Int. player could replace Heenan and do as good a job but,since he was a Nat. player,Sask. will have to play with one less Int. player at another position.

Every year there are thousands of Int. players available while it is extremely difficult to find 30 or so Nat.rookies.

Richard

Most recently, more Canadian kids are being recruited to NCAA schools than ever, more from the CIS are getting looks from the NFL at as they are leaving school. Overall, the quality of young National football player is better. I think the CFL was just unprepared to deal with the loss of National talent, especially so early in their careers. It was one thing to have a guy for 3 or 4 years on your team and then maybe one or two guys in the the entire league develop well enough to garner a looksee in the NFL, but now you're losing the top 3-5 or more prospects from your draft pool annually.

The issue IMO is not the need for 7 starters but the need to carry 21 total on the active roster. The PR is now up to 10 players but I think only 3 are supposed to be reserved for Nationals. I may be mistaken on some of my figures though. What I'd do is change the ratio rules to take some Nationals off the active roster, maybe down to 16 or 17. Then I'd raise the number of dedicated spots for Nationals on the PR to 5. You'd need fewer International PR sports since you'd carry more on the active roster. And with 7 NI starters, do you really need 14 more on the roster in a backup/special teams role? If your starting Nationals include 3 OL, 2 REC, 1 DL, and 1 DB, do you need to carry 2 NI LBs on the active roster just for cover teams? or is it better to make it easier for the team to carry one extra developmental OL on the PR in case of injury or offseason loss? Yes such a change would decrease the number of National players in the league overall but the CFL doesn't need to be concerned about making spots available for Canadians to play football now that more of them are getting opportunites to play in other leagues.

The problem with that argument is that this year again most teams will lose one or more of their best young imports players. Lemon, Carter, Wild, Breauz, Chiles, Yet nobody talks about altering the Import ratio ???

The Canadian talent is more plentiful and more pro ready than ever. Altering the ratio will not improve the talent level, will not prevent players American or Canadian from going to the NFL when opportunity arises, teams will still spend to the limit.

Playing around with the ratio will however destabilize the union (50/50) right now. It will make it more difficult for teams to market themselves during the off season since CFL'ers do pretty much 99 percent of the team's marketing.

NFL is a fact of life and as the saying goes Not For Long league, most of these guys come back anyway. If the CFL can't find a way to start seven Canadians, most of that on the Offensive line, it does not deserve to exist.

There are way WAY more imports that can be brought in to replace players than there are Canadians. A good Canadian player is MUCH harder to replace. In recent times, far more Canadian players are getting a look south of the border. There is only so much Canadian talent left over. Far too many teams have guys who hang on to roster spots simply because there isn't enough local talent to replace them. We've seen countless incidents where teams are calling former non import or national players who have retired to return to action because they simply have nobody else. This does nothing to enhance the league's profile

Finally, judging by their most recent performance at the bargaining table, "destabilizing" the union might not be such a bad thing.

And there are way way more Americans starting.... And sure let's give a bigger voice to players who see this as a part time summer job and don't give two shiats about the CFL.

Not way more Americans starting, roughly twice as much. However they have over 20X (if not more) of a deeper talent pool. And yes, most of the Americans do only stick around here while they play here. However some do stick around not only during the offseason, but stay after their careers are over and even have offspring who grow up to be non-imports or as of now "national" players.

And it's not just the Americans that treat the CFL as a summer job. Most of the Canadians have off season jobs as well.

It is prudent planning. CFL players do not make retirement-ever-after money. An all-star National/Canadian OL might make in the neighbourhood of a couple of million dollars over 10 years. A solid CFL player might make a million over ten years. A smart CFL player knows they need a post-CFL job and the best way to start that career is to use whatever fame being a CFL player yields to get that part-time/winter job.

While there are a little less than 46 hours before 2015 CFL free agency begins,there are still 78 potential free agents; of these players, 2 are CFL All Stars,i.e. Int. OT Stanley Bryant and Nat. OL Brett Jones both with Calgary.Presently, BC and Montreal have the least potential free agents with 4 each,whereas Saskatchewan has the most with 14. Hamilton, Toronto and Winnipeg have 11 potential free agents each; of Hamilton 11 potential free agents, 6 dressed/played in the 2014 Grey Cup.

While I expect that some players will re-sign with their team before 2015 CFL free agency begins, I nevertheless expect that many will sign with another team,with Ottawa and Winnipeg the busiest teams in free agency; between 4 and 5 free agents could sign with each of these teams. I expect Hamilton to lose many players to free agency,unless the re-sign 3 or 4 before noon Tuesday.

Waiting time is almost over.

Richard

Several interesting story lines for me this year.

Brett Jones is an interesting FA. Reports this morning are that he could pull in around 250K. Will Calgary pay him the to stay there or just move on with last years first rounder Lavertu? With Stanley Bryant and Edwin Harrison headed for FA as well, how much turnover will the Grey Cup champ Stamps want Riders obviously could be looking for a center having shed Picard and now losing Heenan, Jones would be a big get. Will he hold out hoping for a decent NFL offer still? If he re-signs with a CFL team, what term will it be for? A 1 year deal to take another NFL look next year? My guess is if he wants a short term deal of 1-2 years he stays with the Stamps, for possibly even a little less money, and Lavertu his grooming process. If he wants a longer term deal of 3-4 years at max amount he can get, he heads to Regina.

Should also be interesting to see which FA receivers Ottawa is able to finally nab. There's been a lot of speculation as to who would end up there this offseason. I would expect they probably announce a couple of signings quite early in the process. Could they or would they pull in both Sinopoli and Giguere?

As for my Bombers, I would suspect they go after either Bryan or Sir Vincent Rogers to replace Glenn January at LT who they are letting walk. Assuming they stick with the same ration on the Oline as last year, they'll probably then use one of the younger international OTs on the roster at RT. Also, with Richie Hall taking over as DC I would expect we look for more traditional LBs instead of the tweeners we have been using, so Rennie Curran or perhaps a Brian Peters. However, unlike TSNs article predicting the Bombers will be going after basically all the top tier FAs outside of Brett Jones, I don't expect Kyle Walters to go crazy. I don't think he'll want to tie up the cap with too many overpriced FA contracts. He'll look to add a couple difference makers then tinker with some of the middle range nationals to raise the overall talent level.

I expect Brian Brohm to be done as a Bomber. They've tried to get a deal done to bring him back and he's elected it seems to head for FA. With what Marve showed last year he has the makings of a good QB so I think we'll be OK. I think Brohm is looking at maybe Ottawa and the possibility there may be a starting job there in a year or so. Maybe the Riders are interested given their back up QB situation seems to be in flux and the fact they haven't really been in a rush to resign Sunseri.

And lastly, Kevin Glenn. Really interested to see where he ends up as the options are pretty limited for him right now. Biggest need for a backup I think is still Ottawa which would just be a crazy scenario given how things played out last year. Beyond that, Montreal? Will his asking price be too high and he ends up still unsigned as camps open?

and just as I post that comes this news:

Scott Mitchell ?@SUNMitchell 17m17 minutes ago

Can confirm that Stamps' Brett Jones is officially off to the NFL. No surprise. Trying to nail down team. Bucs, Giants, Cards in play. #CFL

Of the 78 players still potential free agents, 45 of these players were on the 46 player active roster when their respective team played their last game in 2014; the numbers,per team, are:

Montreal 1
BC 3
Ottawa 3
Calgary 5
Edmonton 5
Hamilton 6
Toronto 7
Winnipeg 7
Saskatchewan 8

Yesterday I thought that some potential free agents would be signed before noon tomorrow; presently, I don't expect many of these potential free agents re-signing. Montreal should re-sign 1 or 2 players amongst their present 4 potential free agents.

Unfortunate that a top Nat. OL-Jones- is going to the NFL. Harder to replace than an Int. OL. Good that they drafted Pierre Lavertu in 2014.

Richard

As doubtful as it is, I'd actually enjoy that on a few levels.

Eliminmian was apparently a potential FA but not really a FA since he and the Lions had a previously negotiated deal as a fallback for 2015 and they re-up Bighill. BC is spending a good chunk of cash on their 2 stud LBs, but getting good value.

News1130 Sports ?@News1130Sports 11m11 minutes ago

Told you last night - Elimimian 3 years and 700,000 dollars. Bighill 2 years and just under 400,000 dollars. #BCLions.

So 3 confirmed signings thus far:

WR Spencer Watt - HAM
WR Darvin Adams - WPG
MLB Sam Hurl - WPG

[url=http://www.tsn.ca/cfl-free-agency-bombers-agree-to-terms-with-lb-hurl-1.203447]http://www.tsn.ca/cfl-free-agency-bombe ... l-1.203447[/url]

Couple rumors on twitter suggesting that WPG is pushing to sign SirVincent Rogers and that BC has gotten into the bidding for All-star Stanley Bryant.

Hurl should be a good addition for the Bombers just by elevating the National content. You add him to another former Rider in Greg Newman signed last year, plus last years draft pick in Jesse Briggs, and Teague Sherman, those four give them the flexibility to start a second NI on defense and one of the LB spots next to Bucknor on the corner. Could mean that we go all International on the DLine next year.

As for Adams, not really high on signing FA International receivers, especially with one with so little a background as Adams. With all the receiver injuries in TO last year, putting up only 18 catches is a concern. Out of the Internaional receivers, his spot next to Denmark and Moore will still be up for grabs. He could come in and surprise, but I wouldn't be surprised if he got beat out as well.

Update:

CFL News ?@CFL_News 2m2 minutes ago

OL Sir Vincent Rogers signs with #RedBlacks. #CFL via @garylawless

No doubt they needed help on the offensive line -
Glad they we able to sign one of the better guys available.

Should be interesting to see what happens with Stanley Bryant - BC, WPG, CGY probably the options right now

Sinopoli reportedly signs with Ottawa

Jonathan Jobin ?@jobinjo Et l'ancien quart des #GeeGees, Brad Sinopoli (@BSinopoli) signe aussi avec @REDBLACKS. Logique. #LCF #CFLFA15