....Not far off now....Looks like there'll be a bumper crop IF it holds...Some real interesting names...I'd have to say to start it off..I like Venables and Knapton on the Mont. fa list...Venables is very solid and Knapton is a 'crazy' tackling machine...We need help in that area and either guy would fit the bill..As far as receivers go...don't know what's happening with Gurley????IF we don't re-up him Ernest Jackson looks about right and Ellingson..Could be dreamin a bit but one of those guys would look real good in our receiving corps...maybe at the expense of Smith....Then there's always Burnham??? Have at er..
One little thing has changed in Winnipeg. Its no longer seen as a cesspool or destination of last resort - only for hobos and scrap-heapers!
Lots of good players enjoy their time in Winnipeg, are treated fairly, have a decent facility and well above average fan support and while the media storefront has changed in recent years - they still get more than most CFL franchises other than Saskatchewan.
One minor problem is Winnipeg has a deadbeat defensive coach (Hall) and Mike O'Shea's career winning percentage (a tad over .400) doesn't exactly inspire fear in most opponents.
That said, they need significant upgrades at defensive line, linebacking and WR. A quality import and/or canuck RB backup wouldn't hurt either. Love to see them make a play (via trade) for Nic Demski as the bombers don't really have anyone quite like him (guy with running back speed/power who's developed into a decent flanker, possession receiver)
....Agree on Demski....although I think we'll wait till fa next year and see if he wants to come home...Not thrilled about Hall either but I guess we're going to have to fly with him this season.....or hit the drink...I would say all linebackers entering fa will get a solid look from us AND IF you can believe the statement by Medlock, that he has talked to a few high calibre fa's and they now see Wpg. as a very good CFL destination and a place to be....hmmmm we might get a few nice surprises in a couple of weeks....I just hope after the smoke has cleared, that we DON'T hear a statement coming from Walters along the lines of 'we didn't make any big moves this year as 'we went all out last year',....I would not be a happy camper if we don't make some bold moves in fa in areas of concern.. :cowboy:
Players will like Winnipeg. Coach and GM are returning with new 3 year deals and stability there is something some players like to see. We're also coming off a playoff appearance where we should have beaten BC and some players will look at that and think they could be the missing piece or two to get us over that hump.
I think this year more than any other I don't really know how much money they have left to spend. Last year you knew there was a good amount, but this year after re-upping Nichols to a bigger deal and signing Adams and Stafford, we likely have fewer dollars to spend. Guys like Derek Dennis, Burnham will cost a ton and would require too much retooling of our roster to fit them in so I'm not holding out hope for them.
Wish list for me:
Redblacks: Lafrance (I too like Ellingson and Jackson but I don't think we look for another higher priced International receiver)
Stamps: Love/Micah Johnson
Esks: Phil Hunt/Marcus Howard/Oramasionwu
Stamps have been busy resigning some of their guys. Other teams haven't really done much at all. Says a lot about the Stamps I think.