MY TOP FREE AGENCY WISH LIST:
Andy Fantuz SB
-Because there is no Canadian talent close to his level among receiving group in free agency
Brendan LaBatte OG
-Because of superior talent, very young Canadian free agent, and solidifies 1/3 of Canadian content in middle of offensive line. Wayne Smith cant play every game, and Baillargeon, Husband and the 2010 draftee Moe Petrus (if he signs) would need some seasoning. Even asking a potential 2012 CFL Draft O-Lineman to start may be too much right away.
Don Oramasionwu DT
-Because better is better, and DonnyO is much better than Steele or Forbes, and Kirk may not even be signed due to being an injury question mark. He could play for 5 years or more and be a quality starter.
Greg Carr WR
-Because you cant underestimate the value of a 6’6 receiver who has made defensive backs look over matched in man to man coverage. Just as Terrance Jeffers-Harris brings a skill set that not all receivers have, Carr has a similar make-up. Too good to pass up if we can get him, regardless of strength of receiving unit.
Jason Pottinger LB
-Because if healthy, he represents a capable replacement for Renauld Williams, and a super special teams player. He may not be interested in coming here if he wont start, but if he does, he would be the ideal Canadian back up to the import starter.
***Jason Medlock P/K
-I doubt he will get serious consideration in the NFL due to him being left footed, with many teams not a fan of a left footed kicker, so he is hopefully going to re-sign with the Ticats. If he doesn’t, then one option is Burke Dales handling the punting, and Luca Congi being in the mix as a Field Goal kicker. There are many more options but it’s the best free agency option.
What would be a bonus is to have a Canadian running back who can replace Martell Mallett if he gets injured. Someone like Calvin McCarty would have fit the bill, but he re-signed in Edmonton. Similarly Jamaal Lee represented that type of player until he retired today. Andre Durie re-signed with the Argos as well. A Canadian who can play the premier role in the backfield and play well if called upon, as opposed to a full back or a Canadian back mainly used for special teams, would be significant. Yet this type of player no longer is available in this year’s free agency list.
Others worth noting:
Taylor Robertson OG
-talented, super signing if health is fine, but is 32 and could be his last contract perhaps?
Dominic Picard C
-smallish Center but gets the job done, and is youngest Canadian O-Lineman next to LaBatte
Cary Koch WR
-Mr. Reliable in Sask
Greg Peach DE
-replacement for Hickman, young free agent at only 25 this year
Defensive back list has individuals who can play, but are either over 30, or younger and we can do better. Having said that, Lin-J Shell (who may sign with B.C.) I would be interested in, as well as Ryan Phillips and Willie Pile.
The main focus should be on Canadian players because our Canadian depth is really challenged. As of today, our Canadian starters under the age of 30 include:
Peter Dyakowski OG
Darcy Brown FB/TE (quasi starter)
Eddie Steele DT
Ryan Hinds CB
Of the four, only two of them, Hinds and Dyakowski are definite starters heading into 2012. So it is time to strengthen the non-import roster, and free agency is one way to do it. My top 5 picks above include 4 non-imports, and as much as it is a dream to get those players, if we get one, we have to be content.