TiCats 2017 FA's

Nice write up from Drew on this

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/6974373-ticats-set-to-rebound-from-bleak-16/]http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/697 ... -bleak-16/[/url]

By Drew Edwards

With the 2016 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season officially in the books, here's a position-by-position look at where the team stands heading into next year:


The Ticats have a bona fide No. 1 starter in Zach Collaros and quality backup (Jeremiah Masoli) under contract for next season. After an up-and-down campaign, look for Collaros to return to his 2015 form with the benefit of a more typical off-season training regimen (he was rehabbing from knee surgery last year) and full training camp. No. 3 man Jeff Mathews is slated to become a free agent and likely won't be back as the team will look to give youngster Everett Golson the opportunity to develop.

Potential free agents: Mathews, Jacory Harris.

Running backs:

C.J. Gable posted his best numbers since his rookie season, finishing sixth in the CFL with 693 rushing yards to go along with 405 receiving while playing in 15 games. Gable, now 29, is under contract next season but the Ticats will have to decide whether they want to go with a more cap-friendly option and already have Ross Scheuerman — still on his rookie deal — in house. Among the Canadians, rookie Mercer Timmis showed promise while playing in nine games this season while Anthony Woodson could depart via free agency. Indestructible fullback C.O. Prime will return.

Potential free agents: Woodson, Kendiall Lawrence, Da'Rel Scott


This group was ravaged by injury in 2016 and could look radically different by the time training camp rolls around. Expect Luke Tasker, fully recovered from an abdominal injury that cost him the last six games, to be back but Canadian Andy Fantuz is a free agent in February and is facing a long recovery from an ACL tear, while 34-year-old Chad Owens, who played well before breaking his foot, and 1,000-yard man Terrence Toliver are also set to hit the open market. Brian Tyms, who finished the season strong, is expected to be back. Without Fantuz, look for Canadian Mike Jones to be given the opportunity to step into a starting role.

Potential free agents: Owens, Toliver, Kevin Elliott, John Chiles, Giovanni Aprile, Matt Coates,

Offensive line:

The Ticats have a solid core of Canadian offensive linemen with veterans Mike Filer and Ryan Bomben along with youngsters Brandon Revenberg and Mathieu Girard all under contract. The team will have to make a decision about veteran Peter Dyakowski, who lost his starting job to Revenberg late in the season. There may be change at tackle as Xavier Fulton, acquired in October via trade, is a free agent though Jake Olson, who missed the entire season with a torn patella, could return. Hamilton could also elect to start four Canadians next season or dip into the free agent pool for talent.

Potential free agents: Fulton, Landon Rice

Defensive line:

Defensive tackle Ted Laurent, as well as defensive ends John Chick and Adrian Tracy are all under contract for next season — only tackle Drake Nevis is set to hit the open market. The team also has Canadian defensive end Justin Capicciotti and tackles Mike Atkinson and Evan Gill under control — that's a solid base of both national and international talent.

Potential free agents: Nevis, Louis Richardson


Perennial all-star Simoni Lawrence and impressive first-year man Larry Dean will form the nucleus of this unit but the team will need to either find or develop a strong-side linebacker after struggling at that spot this season. Veterans Rico Murray and Johnny Sears have the ability but neither have shown the ability to stay healthy and both are set to be free agents. Aging veteran Keon Raymond was a stop gap at best.

Potential free agents: Sears, Murray, Raymond


With Canadian safety Craig Butler expected to return from a knee injury, the Ticats have the option to revert to a secondary featuring two national starters (with Courtney Stephen moving back to corner.) Backup Mike Daly is set to be a free agent, however, and may command starter money elsewhere. There's plenty of uncertainty among the American defensive backs as well: Emanuel Davis is a pending free agent and the team may look to move on from several others.

Potential free agents: Johnny Adams, Daly, Davis, Shane Herbert, Cleshawn Page, Jermaine Robinson.

Special teams:

Kicker Brett Maher is a free agent and may be looking for a more significant raise than the Ticats are willing to offer. Given their success at finding Maher after a broad casting call and extended competition last season, the team may be comfortable going that route again. Long snapper Aaron Crawford has another year on his deal and the team has an excellent core of young Canadian talent, including Frederic Plesius and Terrell Davis, for coverage units. One big question: will Brandon Banks be back? His three kick return touchdowns this season led the CFL but he struggled with consistency and was at the centre of two big controversies, missing the first part of training camp with a "family issue" then serving a two-game suspension after testing positive for a recreational drug.

Potential free agents: Maher, Beau Landry, Ron Omara

Coaching staff:

Vice-president of football operations and head coach Kent Austin has three years remaining on the extension he signed before this season so he isn't going anywhere. Defensive co-ordinator Orlondo Steinauer's contract is up and he is expected to be a candidate for head coaching jobs, particularly if there's an opening in Toronto, but left the door open for a return. If Steinauer leaves, one option could see special teams co-ordinator Jeff Reinebold take over the defensive reins. Offensive co-ordinator Stefan Ptasek is under contract for next year.

Three reasons the Ticats should be good next year

While this season may have been the team's poorest showing of the Kent Austin-era, there's reason to be optimistic for 2017. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Stability at quarterback. The Ticats were the first team in CFL history to have two players throw for 15 touchdowns in the same season and both Zach Collaros and Jeremiah Masoli are slated to return next year. While Collaros wasn't spectacular down the stretch, he's still considered an elite player at the game's most important position and he's still only 28.

  2. Canadians under contract. Hamilton did an excellent job getting its core group of Canadian players signed to extensions last season, locking up offensive linemen Mike Filer and Ryan Bomben as well as defensive back Courtney Stephen and tackle Ted Laurent. With safety Craig Butler expected to return from knee surgery and a stable of young players in development — offensive linemen Brandon Revenberg and Mathieu Girard, receiver Mike Jones, running back Mercer Timmis, linebacker Terrell Davis — the Ticats have excellent national depth.

  3. The East Division is a train wreck. Montreal has just fired their general manager, there's uncertainty in Toronto and Ottawa will have a number of big names slated to hit free agency this February. Hamilton has stability in ownership and management, a solid season ticket base and a talented group of core players. They need to get better, certainly. But they are in excellent shape to contend in 2017.

Thanks for the well-prepared look ahead, Grover. My only knowledge of who's up for free agency, as it now stands, is what I've read in this forum. I'm pretty sure I've read, among these threads in recent days, that both Primé and Gill are on the list of those who'll be free agents in Feburary. Your break down indicates otherwise.

This is done by Drew Edwards, the previous one that I did was from LoonieCap.
I would certainly trust Drew on this,
I posted this so that in Feb and May we will know who is a FA

Yes, the Cats are looking good at quarterback with Collaros and Masoli returning next season but it means squat if the team doesn't improve the o-line and running game. Remember Dunigan and Calvillo's time here? We don't need history repeating itself...

The list is small keep Coates Murray Raymond if Owens has enuff gas to want to rollover if it’s possible n tyms the others can be replaced healthier n better p.s grab banks by the ears n get his head on straight or let him do a 10 yard run out the door he’s a man not a baby stop pouting

Drew Edwards ,nice article !
Lets hope the TiCats do not bring back players who are hurt every year ,even though very talented players like #2 Chad Owens while it was a pleasure to watch him perform, very impressive, but hurt every year ....

I hope Austin goes after Sinkfield!

Other names, not on Drew's list, that I've noted, from other sources which I can't recall, as being potential TiCat free agents:
Langa, Ellis, Primé, Crawford, Collins, Watt, Gill, Hughes, Williams, Uren, Washington, Butler, Archambault, Lewis and Simmons.
Just throwing them out there, with no knowledge of whether, or not, they should be included.

Checking back, looking for my source(s) for the above posted extra possible free-agent names, I now believe I noted all of them when reading Grover's recent post quoting http://www.looniecap.com/2015/04/cfl-sa ... acker.html

Matt Uren was just drafted last year, A first year player must still sign a 1+1 contract, he is not a FA.

Here are some of the rules for CFL contracts (the last one is interesting)

What is a CFL Standard Players Contract?
When a player is signing their first contract with a CFL team, that team must offer a one year contract with a team option to renew for a second year.
Option years are not eligible to be included once a player has completed their first contract.

How does the CFL define a "First Contract"?
This means any contract for the first year the player is in the CFL and for which they were paid for one regular season or playoff game.

Does a player have an option to sign something other than the CFL Standard Players Contract for their "First Contract"?
Yes, these alternatives could include multiple one year contracts for three years with no option year as an example given in the CFL CBA.

When do player contracts expire?
The last year of the contract will expire on the second Tuesday in February following the close of the football season.

What sections of the CFL Standard Player Contract can be changed?
The termination clause can be changed to allow for payments after the contract has expired or to guaranteed a certain level of payment.

Does a Standard Players Contract (SPC) include a clause that keeps the terms on conditions confidential?
No, in fact a CFL club is prohibited by the CBA to put any term or condition into the SPC that prohibits disclosure of any or all terms or conditions of the SPC.

If we have Owens, Chiles, Elliott, Tolliver and Tyms all back next year, we will not need Sinkfield. We may not even need Banks.

Sinkfield >>>>>>> Chiles, Elliott

I sure hope we bring Owens back in 2017..
Chad is a great player and all guts..
Love the guy and his input to the Team.
BlowTeam was insane to dump him, the way they did.

The Cats might as well go the more cap-friendly option and utilize Ross Scheuerman as long as a running game continues to be an afterthought for this team. Pity... CJ is a good RB that is under-utilized.

True but we need to protect the qb and cj is a great blocker so in cj I trust I say to cut costs if needed then give banks his papers

They thought they had a better crew of receivers to replace him - until they cut all of them in one fell swoop.

Drew EdwardsVerified account ?@scratchingpost 13h13 hours ago
Drew Edwards Retweeted
[b]Two things worth knowing here:

  1. Medlock took a pay cut this season.
  2. He's a free agent in February,[/b]

He still can't punt!

Tied for 3rd with Robe Maver in CFL for Net Punting Average. Leone was #1. Boris Bede #2. Maher was 6th. Medlock had highest KO average in the league. Maher was 7th.

I would have a look a Swaze Waters. Medlock has been a Tiger Cat twice. No chance for a third time. Austin has a long memory, and so do I. Move on folks.