OMG - TiCats who could be Free Agents in Feb.

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are just over a week away from their Eastern Final date — with a trip to the Grey Cup on the line — and the game may take on an even greater sense of urgency given that the Ticats have 15 players set to hit the free agent market next February — including seven starters.

It's a daunting list which includes three East all-stars, the team's leading receiver, their best cover guy, the fastest player in the CFL, two quarterbacks and four Canadians. Here's a look at the Ticats who could be on the open market in February.

  1. WR Luke Tasker: Just 23-years-old, Tasker had a breakout season in 2014, leading the team with 72 catches and 937 yards while developing into a go-to guy in tough situations. The son of former NFLer Steve Tasker may generate interest south of the border just on his name alone, though he's undersized for the U.S. game. He would certainly be a top target in the CFL market, however, given his age and production.

  2. DB Delvin Breaux: A shutdown corner, Breaux has both the size (he's listed at 6-foot-1, 196 pounds) and speed that NFL scouts look for. The 25-year-old will definitely get a look down south and teams have already begun reaching out to his agent. The only thing that may give them pause: any lingering concerns over the neck injury that scuttled his collegiate career. But it goes without saying that virtually every CFL team would see Breaux as an upgrade in a pass-happy league.

  3. WR/KR Brandon Banks: Only 26 and with three seasons of NFL experience, including 41 starts, Banks may look to try to catch on with an American team again after putting up some decent receiving numbers in the CFL (42 catches, 529 yards this season.) But rule changes have lessoned the impact of the NFL return game — where Banks has been electrifying in his season-and-a-bit with the Ticats — and he will come with at a higher price due to salary rules. Again, any CFL team would love to have him.

  4. WR Sam Giguere: While the 29-year-old Giguere hasn't met the sky-high expectations he was saddled with coming in, he's still a three-year starter at a position where Canadian talent is at premium. There has been consistent talk that Montreal will take a run at Giguere in an attempt to bring him to his home province.

  5. DE Justin Hickman: In the six games since his return from the NFL, Hickman has just one sack and nine tackles but has provided a solid bookend opposite East Division sack leader Eric Norwood. Hickman had 13 sacks in 2011 and there was interest from several other CFL teams before he chose to come back to Hamilton. And by signing a pro-rated one-year deal, there's little question he's hoping for another NFL shot.

  6. OL Tim O'Neill: The oldest Ticat at 35, O'Neill has been a solid, though largely unheralded contributor and was the team's most outstanding lineman in 2012. He's started every game this season and the Ticats are currently starting only two Canadian offensive lineman. O'Neill likely has at least a year or two left, especially given the demand at the position.

  7. QB Dan LeFevour: His four starts this season proved LeFevour can play in this league but he'll have to show teams he's all the way back from a torn ACL suffered in August. Somebody will want to find out, though.

  8. WR Bakari Grant: With four years in Hamilton, Grant is one of the longest-tenured Ticats and has been a consistent performer the last two seasons in particular — he has a catch in every game of his career, save one.

  9. WR Greg Ellingson: A year ago, after 52 catches and 800 yards as a rookie, Ellingson might have been near the top of this list. But nagging injuries and an inability to crack the lineup have limited his production this season. Still, at just 25, there will be a market for him.

  10. OL Greg Wojt: An East Division All-Star last year, Wojt has played in just one game this season and is battling a serious shoulder injury. If healthy — and that's a big if — he can be a contributor. Canadian lineman are at a premium, on this team and others.

  11. LS Marc-Antoine Fortin: A skilled long snapper with a history of injury problems.

  12. QB Stephen McGee: He's the No. 2 right now but at 29 has never taken a CFL snap in a regular-season game, so it's tough to tell what his potential is.

  13. LB Marcellus Bowman: A borderline starter and rock solid special teamer, Bowman has battled injury problems in his two seasons with the Ticats.

  14. OL Marc Dile: A solid starter his first season with the Ticats in 2012, Dile has battled injury problems since.

  15. DE Antonio Coleman: Tore his ACL in his first and only CFL start.

The Ticats have an exclusive negotiating window with all their potential free agents from the end of the season until Tuesday, Feb. 10 at noon when free agency begins.

Really? Gee, I'd never heard that. :roll:

I wonder if it is possible for any media type to ever mention Luke Tasker WITHOUT telling us for the umpteenth time who his father is.

so happens his dad is one of the toughest special teams guys the NFL has ever seen so its easy to always mention his ol man im sure Luke dont mind

Luke Tasker (son of NFL Hall of Famer Steve Tasker) a lock to re-sign.
Lose Breaux to the NFL (for a while at least). Ellingson is as good as gone - hurt too much and rarely part of the attack now when he was healthy. Gig. to MTL is logical but who knows if MTL can afford to be throwing money around next year.

Banks and Tasker will sign with Ottawa - they need a good kick returner and a dependable receiver.

So in other words. We need to win the GC this year. There are some hungry players on this team for new contracts.

Under the new CBA, the cap only goes up by $50k,from $5M to $5.05M
yet minimum salary will go up by $1k to $51K from $50K.

Did you know that each TiCat player made $3400 for finishing in 1st place
and will get an additional $3600 for playing in the East Final
So all of our Cats just earned $7000 for that win over MTL :thup: :thup:

LOL!!!! Rule of thumb : What one hopes to get and what one actually gets are two different things.
The RB's may need a good kick returner and a dependable receiver but it doesn't mean
that Desjardins will be successful at signing these two......In other words it's just wishful thinking on Slims part :lol: . Personally I think that we'll see both back in Cat uniforms next season.As for the other pending FA's here is just my personal opinion of who we might lose and who we will likely resign,looking at the list quickly. No explanations at this time as it's too early on in the process and frankly we have more important things to worry about right now,like winning the EF and a repeat trip back to the Grey Cup. :cowboy:

Free Agent..................Status.........Resigned Yes/No
D.LeFevour-qb............6 gm IL........NO
G.Ellingson-wr............injury list......NO
G.Wojt-ol.................6 gm IL........????(depends on inj. status)
M.Fortin-de/ls...........6 gm IL.........NO
M.Bowman-lb............injury list......YES
M.Dile-ot.................6 gm IL........NO
A.Coleman-de...........6 gm IL.........NO

Since most contracts are two years with a club option, it’s not uncommon to have a lengthy list of FAs. Chances are most will be back in 2015 and Austin will sign a couple FAs from other clubs.

The trick in the CFL for Americans is to get that contract that satisfies them and the team. If another team (ottawa) comes in and overpays, we know Marcel D will just cut that player when he gets a suitable replacement.

Guys like Tasker can stay here and be a part of something or take the extra $$ for potentially 1-2 years and be in a much worse situation.

Giguere to MTL while logical, may be looking at Ottawa to pay him. And if he gets full time in the slot? look out.

Tasker - I suspect will resign for more $$$

Breaux - He's going south for a while and might not be back.

Banks - Dunno...I'd like to see us keep a good returner for once but time is ticking for him. I expect he'll try down south and may or may not be back.

Giguere - Every year this comes up and every year it doesn't happen. I would expect him out west so he can train bobsled is more likely then Montreal.

Hickman - He signed a short deal for a reason. I expect he'll try down south and head back again.

O'neil - When you are near the end of your career, you either stay put for fam or look for a payout. Given he's a lineman.l, I expect the former.

Lefevour - Big risk to go after a good backup with a bad ACL. then again he might realize he can't crack the roster due to young Zac. Ottawa is the only team who needs him. He stays.

Grant & Ellingson - No idea

WTF? $50 000 extra for the players?
Give the $50 000 to Tasker.
I"ll chip in a $50 Tims card for O'Neil or Giguere.
Not both, cause I am a cheap prick too.

Continuing my post, as I'm not longer on a phone.

Grant - No idea, on one side, I like to think our organization has treated him well, and in turn he's done well by us, but players always want to make more money then they did last year, and while we probably don't have cap concerns (yet) he might end up testing the market.

Ellingson - I almost wish the exclusive negotiation window was larger, because Ellingson will likely want more money then his rookie contract, and understandably so. He's been a solid receiver, Ottawa desperately needs a player like him and he's not cracking the lineup right now with Sinkfield's sudden appearance. I would like to see us keep Ellingson, but this will be a case that if we can't keep our other receivers, there will be a strong offer to keep Ellingson. If we can, keep or receivers, I have little doubt Ellingson will be testing out free agency.

Wojt - Tough to say, being hurt an entire season doesn't help your negotiating position. At 28, he's still got a lot of miles left and he's a proven lineman, but how bad is his injury and how bad is Dyakowski's injury I think are the questions here.

Fortin - Every Long Snapper in the league is a Canadian. It's not a high demand position an I believe some teams have Linebackers or other positional players play the position, and the position has a history of being a conga line. Sorry Fortin, but it's the sad truth of being the long snapper.

McGee - It comes down to if Austin is going to invest in Dan LeFevour after his injury and how well he's recovered and what 2nd to 3rd string QBs appear. Troy Smith is out there likely looking for a spot next year, and there are always backups shuffling around. McGee hasn't taken a CFL snap, so I sorta doubt free agency will have much to offer vs being the closest CFL franchise to his home state of Texas and to the Buffalo/Detroit airports.

Bowman - Harris has been doing a good job at the position, as has Lawrence and Reed and you have Plesius and Beswick possibly being a ratio answer if this spot gets dicey. Bowman I think it a great LB that can crack it as a started, but after an unhealthy season, I see almost the exact same offer being put on the table.

Dile - When you are hurt, it comes down to how well you've recovered. Football is a ruthless business where you need to show what have you done lately? Canadian Linemen are hard to come by, but I don't think we're going to be so strapped on the ratio to need to break the bank. Also, what's the state of the other injured O.Linemen?

Coleman - It's what it is, I don't think I'd expect a resigning.

I would worry, but not too much. The only thing that trumps a higher salary in the CFL is a chance at a Grey Cup ring. So many (but not all) of the Ticat free agents will choose to stay in Hamilton because they believe they are more likely to get a ring or two here than anywhere else.

For the record I don't have any particular insight into who might be tempted to leave, or who the team is keen to see re-sign in Hamilton. I've told the football ops team (aka scouts and coaches) not to listen to me on football issues, and shockingly enough that is the only instruction from me they've ever listened to. :wink:

Re: Giguere- This comes up every year? He hasnt been a free agent yet...

This is way too early for this discussion. We should be concentrating on the playoffs and hopefully the Cup. When the season is over then we can disemminate who, what, where, when and why. The playoffs have a bearing on coaches decisions also, so lets stop putting the horse before the cart. Let's focus on the Eastern Final. One game at a time.

Here here!

As other posters have implied on this thread, there are many intangibles that will result in us re-signing many of these pending free agents, as well as attracting new ones next year:

-the team is Grey-Cup-caliber
-we have a young, good QB who will only get better (and the same can be said about other players on this young team)
-ex-Ticats have come back to Hamilton after trying the NFL
-the coaches are outstanding, and the organization has showed extreme loyalty to players who have been injured
-under Austin, we have drafted well
-a great fan base
-we play in a new stadium, and are very hard to beat there
-unlike a lot of other teams, we are close to the American border (shorter flights home during bye weeks)

Of all the names in the potential FA list, Breaux would be the loss most felt by the team on any game day. Grant and Dile would round out the three whose loss would have an impact.