Red Deer roundup: Travis’s takes on this week’s CFL transactions
Ahead of the start of the CFL free agency period on February 9th, teams have started signing players to extensions or letting them go to maximize time for them to find another gig. CFLpass lead writer Travis Currah takes a brief look at the past week’s biggest deals.
• Juwan Simpson has been one of the leaders of the Calgary Stampeder defense since taking over the middle linebacker job in 2010 but that era is over in Cowtown. The two-time Grey Cup Champion ends his Stampeders career with 258 tackles.
• Staying with Calgary, Drew Tate has signed an extension to continue as Bo Levi Mitchell’s backup. Tate only dropped back to pass 14 times in 2015 but the signing keeps the league’s arguably best one-two quarterback tandem together. The Stampeders have also signed former Hec Crighton winner Andrew Buckley to an extension as we continue to wait for a Canadian quarterback to start a *meaningful* game in the CFL.
• Elsewhere in quarterback news, former Eskimo Matt Nichols has signed to stay on in Winnipeg through the 2016 season. Winnipeg will now send a 5th-round pick to Edmonton instead of a 7th-rounder because of the re-signing.
• It looks like Jeremiah Masoli has done enough to earn a few more years with Hamilton following his performance after Zach Collaros went down to injury: The TiCats have signed him through 2017.
• Wait … Byron Parker is coming back?
• Ryan Phillips looks like he’s going to be in Orange until the end of his CFL career, signing a contract to stay with BC Lions through 2017.
• The most important signing this week, though, might be star receiver Chris Williams staying on with Ottawa. Williams was one of four 1,000-yard receivers on the RedBlacks after signing there following a stint in the National Football League. While the 28-year-old didn’t have much of an impact in the return game as expected, he was dynamite on offense with 1,200-plus yards.
We’re just over a month away from free agency so there is bound to be a lot more extensions signed before February 9th rolls around, but this offseason has already been the most eventful one in years.
– written by Travis Currah