There's still a lot of changes to be made before the start of the season and the draft coming up May 2nd.
But to this point in free agency has the team you cheer for gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?
As an Elks fan - I feel like we addressed a weak area from last year. Our running game was top 3 on the season in '22 but the pass game - too many drops and really only one outstanding receiver for defences to key on.
Adding three outstanding receivers should help that part of our offence big time.
Other free agent additions:
Josia St. John - a Jones draft pick from his days in Regina
Michael Domagala - although nothing has been said I suspect Ryan will retire at some point.
Hakeem Johnson - former BC DB and a national.
Felix Harper - QB was signed by MTL originally.
Jesse Gibbon - National OL. Traded for a second round pick in 2024.
To me it depends on how you define a free agent signing.
My team, the Bombers did very little as expected from Feb 14th on, signing Lawler and losing Couture and Sayles as expected. It is almost always the have nots that will gain the most players when official free agency starts. For the Bombers there wasn’t going to be much action and there weren’t for other teams such as Calgary as well.
Now if you look at all the players signed that were going to be free agents prior to February 14th arguably the Bombers cleaned up. Below is a screenshot of those players. You can add Collaros to the list as well. I don’t think any other team came close to signing as many quality players. However you define it as a Bomber fan I am extremely happy.
My question is: how the hell does Edmonton afford to pay at other positions, given how much they are spending at receiver?
Having said that, I think my Als actually had a pretty good free agency season IF you consider that our GM did not get the green light to spend until literally the morning before free agency, due to all the ownership chaos. Considering that, we landed a legit starting QB in Fajardo, a veteran receiver in Ellingson, a young backup QB with upside in Caleb Evans, veteran DBs, a longsnapper to replace the incumbent (who retired), a good LB in Avery Williams, and a fullback (this is actually a big deal -- our previous fullback was indicted on charges of grooming last year and subsequently released by the team). To say nothing of the new American talent Maciocia has brought in.
Given the ownership situation, I'd say we did pretty well, even though it obviously hurts badly to lose Lewis and Pickett.
No QB is a bit harsh. Yes, the club will not be on the same trajectory without Rourke, but Vernon Adams is not chopped liver. With the cache of weapons at receiver, an offense designed around his strengths, and a full training camp, I am cautiously optimistic.
No running back...yet. But RB is probably the easiest position on the field to "plug and play" and they've signed some RBs this off-season with NFL pedigree. Whether they can pass block and catch screen passes like Butler remains to be seen. But I don't think we will lose much in terms of rushing average (5.0) which shouldn't be that hard to at least match.
Burnham is going to be missed. Great leader, class guy, insane catches. But he has been injured a lot in the past couple of years and, at 33, presumably would be beginning to slow down (he never possessed great foot speed). I very much like what the club has in the very youthful Alexander Hollins who filled in admirably for Burnham when he went down a second time.
It's under $120K if I remember. Plus there are a ton of second year guys and guys in the last couple years of their career that don't play full time so they aren't making big money.
That's how they could afford bringing all those guys in and out last season. The only guys making big money were a couple receivers - even guys like Ceresna were still on rookie contracts.
I will never forget the looks from the rest of the panel when Milt decided to call him that...........
I think the team will design an offence for VA this season to play to his strengths. Which would also be workable for Dom Davis.
Given a chance I really think Davis could prove to be the better of the two....