[i][b]Kent Austin says the Ticats plan to go hard after a few specific players when free agency opens next Tuesday.
"There are probably two or three individuals that we would like to have on our football team," Austin said this week. "It's important that we land a few of those guys."
With quarterback Henry Burris and kicker Luca Congi already released, the Ticats have five players from last year's squad set to hit the open market on Tuesday: import linebackers Jamall Johnson and Simoni Lawrence, special teams ace Marc Beswick, defensive tackle Torrey Davis and long snapper Kevin Scott.
Lawrence, who led the Ticats in interceptions while registering 52 tackles, has worked out for several NFL teams and is currently weighing his options. The Ticats have offered new contracts to both the 25-year-old Lawrence and the veteran Johnson, and Beswick said after the season that he'd like to return.
"I expect some of those to be back but I'm also realistic to know that you don't always know what the other party is thinking," Austin said. "We're doing what we think is right for the team but it's a two-way street."[/b][/i]
Reading the link,can't help but notice that Torrey Davis isn't mentioned at all,when talking about whose been offered a contract or not.Nice to see that J.J. and Lawrence have both been offered new contracts,remains to be seen though if either will sign or what type of money was offered or length of deal to each of them.It kind of worries me a bit that Beswick states that he would like to come back,but no mention of any offers yet from the club,wanting to come back and being wanted back are two entirely different things.It would be nice to see all 3 back again in black n gold in 2014,our LS Scott I think will be resigned as he has worked with Medlock previously and apparently the two are close friends off the field.It looks like maybe Davis isn't in the plans for next year,and I'm hoping that Laurent is one of the 2 or 3 FA that Austin states the team is targeting.The other FA that the team may be looking at are Watkins from Toronto to solidify a young secondary or perhaps an O-Lineman.The team has lots of depth on the O-Line,but not a lot of experience,especially with the departure of Hage and uncertainty of Dyakowski following his Cup injury,and how long he might be out of action for.I was thinking that the club might also be looking at the FB/TE position with the departure of Delahunt and the fact that Deidrick is going to be 35 yrs of age next season,but there has been scuttlebutt that the team is eyeing converting Prime from MLB to the FB/TE position next season.It should be interesting to say the least how it all unfolds in the next few weeks when we see who we kept,who departed and who arrives in the FA Market.
Have you got a link Hfx ??? or is this pure speculation on your part??? and why would the Williams situation factor in to why Laurent or anyone else for that matter would not want to sign on with the Cats as a FA ?? The Williams case had nothing to do with the fact he was a Cat,it would have happened no matter what team he was on.If you can provide a link or something to back up your post,it would be appreciated,IMO if the money is right,the Cats have as good a chance at landing Laurent as any of the other 8 clubs.If you ask me,I would think that your hoping and praying that Laurent being from Quebec will sign on with your Alouettes instead of here,sounds like wishful thinking on your part.We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.
I'd love for him to sign with Montreal but I don't think that is realistic.
Some teams have let guys out of their contract for NFL opportunities, Toronto comes immediately to mind. Hamilton did not in Williams case ( I am glad they stood up) but if a player has aspirations to play in the NFL, he will sign somewhere he knows will release him should he get interest. Ted had an average season and these opportunities don't LOOK like they materialized this off season but at 26 if he puts up a great season those opportunities could be there for him next year.
Torrey Davis played really well last season. If Hamilton is to taget laurent there will be a lot of competition for sure and a team in need of a solid import DT could take Davis very quickly. Admittedly finding import DTS are not that difficult but nice to have one that has already proven. JMO.
Even though they are saying they are looking to sign JJ i am not sure even if he doest sign that he won’t end up being released, especially if they can sign Simoni and also with Bowmand and Plesius in the mix. They also had to realese a prett good firts year import Will LB when Bowman came off the IR in a numbers crunch and I though he played really well
This is going to be a free for all. When teams inquired about what the cap would be or likely be for 2014. Cohon told them to assume it would be the same as 2013. What do you think is the chance that 9 GM are going to go with that ???
My guess here Espo is that with an additional team added in expansion,players and their agents are trying to squeeze more money out of negotiations,figuring that Ottawa will drive up the figures and players will have teams over a pickle with multiple offers.I can see the REDTHINGS being big players in FA this year,as my guess is that there not content with being an expansion team and taking their lumps,they're looking to be a play-off contender right out of the gate.I'm thinking that FA this year is going to be very interesting and full of surprises,and more than one quality player or two will be jumping ship to a new team around the league in 2014.
The Redblacks will be able to go after more higer priced free agenst then a team already in the league as they need to fill roster spots some will be high priced players.
Once they select the ones that both parties are interested in and evertyhing becomes even in each teams cap space they will begi to move faster and be resigning with their old teams.
Everyone will have to wait to see who Ottawa wants and if said player wants to go to ottawa.
Even some mid ranged players waiting it out as they may be in a crowded position situation with their current team and Ottawa gives them a better chance to start.
So it pretty much covers all FA's who have yet to sign.
Not to mention more and more NFL interst in players. Some players have been released to sign with the NFL but others have not. That will all change on the 11th
If this report is accurate and true,than this is a huge loss,let's hope that J.J. signs that contract,losing Lawrence would be bad enough,but losing J.J as well could see a major reshuffling of our Linebacking core.I'm thinking that if we do lose Lawrence but sign J.J.. We could see him shifted back outside to replace Lawrence,with Bowman moving into the middle,with Murray and Isaac platooning on the other side.If indeed Lawrence has an agreement with an NFL team,hopefully if things don't work out down there,we might see him back here around Labor day.
I that case it will be important to keep JJ but I like the move of him back to Will. Bowman has enough expereince now where he can take over at MLB spot and Austin is very high on him. Leaves Plesius as a youn canadian Back up and special teamer for one more year at MLB. The ability to have a newerCanadian from the CIS with tons of upside for probably either LB spot allows the Cats to have Medlock take a DI spot, a Utility import DB to DI for CB/HB/SAM.
There Dline should be able to have a nice mix of Import and Canadians in the rotation to make a Dline and safety spot as ratio spots.
That last DI spot will come in the form of a receiver/RB/ or return specialist. Hamilton has a solid base of talent both Canadian and Import on offense where it should be workable. Autin loves Banks in the return game but will he be able to fit him onto the roster. They had trhe solid import OTs. Unless they have a design to start 4 canadian's on the oline their will be some numbers to e crunched.
Austin may really like Banks but Hamilton could be a team that could draft Anthony coombs if still available. Already Hybrid skills coming out of Manitoba could be a great fit
Simoni Lawrence after reading your twitter account,all I can say is that you are pure class A-1 :thup:
Good luck to you wherever you signed up with(I guess we'll find out soon enough)hopefully,you'll do well in the NFL,but if things don't work out,hopefully you'll consider coming back here and help the Cats unfinished business of capturing the Cup in 2014.
It looks like with Simoni Lawrence's unofficial departure,that the Cats are down to officially having 4 FA left unsigned,lets hope that the team can snag 3 out of 4 of them in FA (J.J/Beswick/Scott)it appears like the 4th FA( Davis)by all accounts the team is not interested in resigning.
With Lawrence's departure,that brings the total up to 9 players from last years squad who won't be back in 2014.Here's a recap of the nine players,who will be playing elsewhere next season
If we lose all 4 remaining FA,that will be a total of 13 players gone already from last year,and close to a 3rd of the roster who played in the Cup last season....and to think,it's only February!!!! Still have at least 4 months to go before training camp.
I would say Davis is a little surprising. Most likley after FA opens there may be a reason why. Beswick may also become a bit more important now. Although he has spent his career as a stud special teams players being that good sometimes translates into the coach anting to fit his talents into a defensive package and losign WIL Simoni may see more of Bewick on defense in certain situations