Free agency (signed players)

Some was talked about in other threads, figured may as well dedicate one for it though

Kienan LaFrance was just signed...
really nice signing...figured he was given to be a Bomber but was hoping they would poke at him and the Riders would go after Bell. Still anticipating Bell but this is really nice. Greg Morris seems promising, so this could be a nice tandem at RB and a huge ratio move.

As much as I like the move I still think Bell is better and likely 1/2 - 2/3 the price...huge benefit if it pans out but a lot in on this move for sure. Sounds like they gave him some cash up front to win a bidding war so he is a likely starter and that may rule out going after Bell.

I am in a love hate relationship on this one. not loving some of the SMS implications tied to a move like this...Loving that with the import receivers they have this helps get more of them out there more oftern

Derek Dennis was locked down earlier in the day and discussed on here...most outstanding lineman last year and solidified LT....most viewed as the premier FA. I hoped he would be signed by the Riders but questioned if it would. I didn't think they would open up the purse strings on an import for the OL...even as good as he is...though I mentioned this might be a player they wiggle on their salary structure a bit for.

nice signing...1 of the 3 I said I hope they chase a bit...J'Michael Deane and Nolan MacMillan being the others...MacMillian signed a last minute extension and while he was more established Deane was the one I said I hoped for...word is that they are close on offers...knock on wood

[url=http://www.riderville.com/2017/02/14/riders-derek-dennis-perfect-fit/]http://www.riderville.com/2017/02/14/ri ... rfect-fit/[/url]
IAN HAMILTON- Senior Reporter, Riderville.com

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have landed one of the biggest fish on the CFL’s free-agent market.

Offensive tackle Derek Dennis, all 6-foot-3 and 341 pounds of him, signed a contract with the Roughriders on Tuesday — the opening day of CFL free agency.

“Just looking at the overall roster, at the O-linemen on the team and at the need, I think I can be a good complement to what the Riders are trying to build and help them be a competitive team in the West,? Dennis said from his off-season home in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Out of all the offers I had on the table, for a team willing to compete for a Grey Cup this season and next, I think Saskatchewan was my best option.?

Dennis, a 28-year-old product of Queens, N.Y., was considered one of the top free agents on the CFL market. As a member of the 2016 Calgary Stampeders, he was named a CFL all-star and the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman.

He addresses a major need for the Roughriders, who were in the market for an anchor at left tackle. Now they have one.

“I think I bring a level of toughness,? Dennis said. “I want to make the O-line one of the best units in the league.

“I bring a certain demeanour and mentality when I play football and I want to be infectious and pick up on some of the other guys. I’ve always been the type of player to help other guys advance and I’m always willing to learn and advance my own play, too.

“I’m looking forward to trying to be a leader for the O-line, trying to bring a certain attitude that other guys can feed off, be infectious in that sense in the locker room and try to help make the culture that Coach (Chris) Jones wants it to be.?

Dennis admitted that leaving Calgary — a team that went to the Grey Cup in 2016 — was difficult, but he decided the time had come to move on. Now he can try to further establish himself after getting a lucrative contract from Saskatchewan.

“I felt like I was at a point in my career where, with the level of play that I was producing, I wanted to be in the conversation with guys like Stanley Bryant, Jovan Olafioye and SirVincent Rogers,? Dennis said, referring to some of the CFL’s top left tackles. “I feel like I’ve put myself in that category.

“I wanted to go to an environment where I can be treated as such and be able to play as such and be in an atmosphere where CFL football is loved and adored. The Riders were a perfect fit for me.?

The Roughriders’ offensive line was in a constant state of flux last season. Due in large part to injuries to guards Chris Best and Brendon LaBatte, the group went through several iterations as the season progressed.

Over Saskatchewan’s 18 regular-season games, the offensive line featured 10 different starters in 11 different combinations. The unit surrendered 57 sacks — the second-highest such total in the CFL.

The left tackle spot was up in the air after Xavier Fulton was traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats late in the 2016 regular season. Thaddeus Coleman moved from right tackle to left to finish the season — but Coleman also became a free agent Tuesday.

Dennis started five games for the Stampeders in 2015 and all 18 regular-season contests in 2016. The product of Temple University arrived in the CFL after stints in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

His journey to Calgary in 2015 was helped along by then-Stampeders assistant GM John Murphy, who’s now the Roughriders’ assistant vice-president of football operations and personnel. On Tuesday, that history helped spur Dennis to join the Roughriders.

“He let me know how the team felt about me and what they envisioned for me and that matched up with what I envisioned for myself,? Dennis said. “It was easy to pull the trigger.?

Also Tuesday, defensive back Andrew Lue — who finished the 2016 season with Saskatchewan after being acquired from the Montreal Alouettes — left the Roughriders to sign as a free agent with the Edmonton Eskimos

Some good signings and of course getting the big OL was a plus. Yeah not completely crazy about the LeFrance signing as sure the passport is a plus but a pretty small sample size to be in the 6 figure category is my thinking. Still would have preferred looking south for a reasonable price import back. I hope we do make a move at center as Clarke is weak there.

Still a pretty good day even though I think we paid too much for LeFrance. I guess we will see though.

yeah...Clark does not have the arm length for C...his nickname is T-rex for a reason. I think he has the mentality and leadership and all that to do it...just not the arms. for hahas lean down like you are snapping a ball...now hunch your arms like you have a 6" shorter reach...it is amazing the leverage difference it makes. I would line up a DT at Nose Tackle on almost every single snap on him...you can noticeably see the difference in his game when that happens.

this is Vonks time...I think he has potential but I am not sold on him. If the Riders pick up another guy on the OL...and that might happen in Deane...Vonk will be in tight to make the squad probably...especially if there is confidence in Best. He can however play center...so I am wondering if we will see him taking rotations there in camp. Guy is also in the picture hopefully....and iirc he has experience there as well

Dunk reporting that Dennis signed for 170 per with up to 10k more in incentives...I figured it would be 195-210...so the deal is pretty solid.

impressive that Calgary opted out at that and did the same with Bryant before that...must be confident in their OL recruiting and solid scouting. I know Murphy was the pipeline for most of the OL when he was there but I imagine much of the associated staff behind that is still around...kudos to the Stamps...very impressive if it works out for them.

have also heard the Argos offered him 10-15% more but he passed. tough situation for the Argos going into free agency...free agents...especially higher end ones...want to know who they are playing for

Lafrance is apparently in the 110-120 range with 35 of that upfront. if he turns into a legit NI starter this is a solid signing but obviously has some risk at 110 for a RB. Not a fan of big signing bonuses...but this is a situation I think 35 is worth rolling the dice on...and 35 is not horrible if there are not a lot of other ones out there...and it doesn't sound like there are many of big substance due this year.

2 and 3 year deals respectively I believe

[url=http://www.cfl.ca/players/marc-olivier-brouillette/158167/]http://www.cfl.ca/players/marc-olivier- ... te/158167/[/url]

I like this addition to the defense in the link above, DB Marc-Oliver Brouillette.
Unconfirmed though

why would Lemon tweet what he tweeted? re: Dennis signing

I guess it's about that sask. Thing, You know, only certain players will come here. Be it the small city, lack of night life , media always in your face , salary restrictions. I mean we don't have the mountains next to us , but there are good reason to play here to , as in after football careers, fans will be right with you, merchandise sales, maybe even get some chips with your name on it, lafrance fries and Dennis dip .

Wow chad owens to, and the dub, this is getting interesting now,

What great moves by Jones and co. Between what he brought in with the NFL cuts last season (Jefferson, Muamba) and what he's done today and yesterday, this team should be night and day better than last season.

I'm a bit puzzled by the Owens signing, but addressing the oline, safety and running back positions is a step in the right direction.

Yeah really wonder whats going on bringing in Owens as it just doesn't make sense. I could see doing a package deal to get either Adams or Franklin thus possibly losing Holly or Rosie but still Owens as a fill in? Hmmm no. Owens is definetly on the downslope and dropping quickly. Would rather go recruiting again and go young.

Yah I don't get the Owens thing, he is a good receiver, but we are not hurting in that position. Have lots of talent there over flowing even!!

Jones "said" he's basically going to be a return guy. He also adds a vet presence and stabilizing influence on the sideline and in the locker room.

yeah…I don’t mind it in this sense. I don’t like that they had to give him cash up front because it was a a choice between Sask and Toronto…but assume it is token because it is apparently in line with last year or pay and he was at 70k

not a huge fan of the signing though. The stability thing is good…he might be a good influence on Carter because Owens is crazy disciplined in regiments…watching he and Bagg in workouts would be a blast.

Owens is not really the returner he once was…but he was having a really big bounce back year last year until he got banged up so who knows…it is not breaking the bank but this one kinda disappoints me they did not bring in a fresh face…but he is a solid character guy so that is a win.

Also…we could be seeing a setup for something shocking here.
it is looking like 3 NI on the OL…potentially 4
1 at RB
1 @ safety
1 @ LB
1 on DL

is it possible we see no NI at WR??? that is 7 or 8 there now and there are a couple rotation options elsewhere and depending on how free agency and Draft pans out we could see a 2nd on the DL. They could be anywhere from 7-10 NI starters depending how stars align if you include WR in there.

Ryan White is actually an important piece of this puzzle. He is a solid player but has been banged up. He lets them move Jones out as the extra man and can actually play OT…if JSJ actually starts there that is a backup. and puts it at 8 ratio guys, 9 with WR and 10 IF they get another on the DL. Could they should people and move Bagg and maybe even Demski in a trade for a QB?? I could see it and it sounds a little crazy but it would actually be a pretty brilliant move. I have heard they are also close on another NI receiver…I am not going to say who that is but it would be someone they could rotate in and build on for the future.

I know this is a stretch

me thinks he is somehow bitter that he was brought in and would not buy into the system and wanted to stay in his comfort zone, then asked to be moved because he didn't want to play along and was sitting because he was being stubborn about it all...I think Lemon tried bluffing Jones to strong arm him into getting things more his way but Jones granted his wish and honored his request to move...taking a pretty big hit in doing so. He is a heck of a player...but he has no reason to be bitter in this

yeah...even though he was an all-star I am not 100% sold on him. He is a solid player so it is hard to go wrong and is a good signing...but the sweetest part on this for me was that it likely takes them out of the Muamba chase at safety

Still a little pissed that they moved picks to pick up guys for back there and did not retain them...and from what I have heard never really tried even though the players were interested. I mean if they are not what you want and can upgrade...as they have...great...but still kinda sucks.

They also signed Aaron Milton...depth guy at RB...but some insurance at the NI backfield.

NI RB really caught me off-guard...I thought Bell was a given.

Still hoping they land Deane and perhaps Cash...Deane would be huge...Cash would be nice but I think they can recruit there. I know they were heavy on Deane yesterday...I think he is waiting to see if the ORBs match.

Also...Gale went to the Stamps.

I think something is up as far as a package deal for either Franklin or Adams. There has been rumors about Adams being available but Kavis is denying it. Still one has to wonder if he is still ticked he got bumped and also a possibility of yet another qb coming in to even add to the issue.

For a guy that said we wouldn't be active in the FA we sure are bringing in a lot of bodies. Some very solid moves but some like Owens and yet another NI Rb makes me think something is up. Possibly a package deal for either Franklin or Adams? I know Jones has wood for Franklin so how about getting Adams and then package him with possibly Collins and get Franklin. Personally Ive heard that some feel Adams could even be better or as good at least as Franklin so if we could get Adams for less then I would give that a try and see what happens. IF Adams is all that then we are laughing for getting a young starter for less then Franklin. If he flops then you could still look at a package deal for Franklin.

I wonder if there has been more heat put on Jones that this is not to be another training camp season and wins had better be there or else. I mean again from last fall going from not going to be active in the FA to being at the top of moves being made something tells me plans have been changed for some reasons and I doubt it is Jones having a change of heart. Perhaps the collar is getting a bit tight?

ok, I based my 70k on Owens off of something on TSN earlier....sounds like I misunderstood it. Actually sounds like he is in for 110+...which is a 40-50k raise...I really don't get this if it is true