CFL Pass

B.C. Lions dip into free agency to add depth at receiver, linebacker

The B.C. Lions signed three free agents on Wednesday, although none of them named Derel Walker.

While the marquee wideout in the CFL free-agency sweepstakes remains unclaimed, the Leos added some depth to their receiving corps and welcomed home a former player.

Linebacker Dyshawn Davis, who first made the roster in 2016 before playing three CFL seasons in B.C., signed a one-year deal after spending 2019 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The 6-2, 230-pound Davis had a strong 2018 campaign with B.C., making 22 tackles and a forced fumble on special teams, while adding 13 defensive tackles.

Last season in Saskatchewan, the 27-year-old had 16 total tackles in 18 games.

Davis was one of the top-ranked remaining free-agent linebackers available, after former Lion Micah Awe signed in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

The Lions added a pair of wide receivers on Wednesday, signing Mississauga, Ont.-born wide receiver Devon Bailey to a one-year contract and rookie American Nih-Jer Jackson.

Bailey, 29, was drafted by Edmonton in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2014 CFL draft after a four-year career at St. Francis Xavier, and has played 58 games for Edmonton (2014-16) and Saskatchewan (2017-18), with career totals of 48 catches for 658 yards and four touchdowns.

While at St. FX, he made 87 catches for 1,160 yards and six touchdowns in 29 career games, being named an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) all-star in 2011 and 2012.

Jackson transferred from Merced College to Southeastern Louisiana in 2016 and would go on to record 36 receptions for 409 yards and two touchdowns in 21 games.

Walker remains unsigned heading into Week 2 of CFL free agency, although another suitor has joined B.C. as the top contenders for his services.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are also making a bid for the Eastern Conference all-star, who had 1,040 yards and six touchdowns on 65 catches on a Toronto Argonauts team that scored the second-fewest points and finished second-last in the CFL.

Walker’s salary remains the toughest hurdle, as he made $280,000 last season and is expected to ask around $250,000 this season.

The increase in the CFL’s salary floor wasn’t matched by the cap this season, meaning B.C. would have to do some roster acrobatics to shed enough salary to sign him. The Bombers have a slightly more flexible situation, even with five $200,000 players on their roster.

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Source: vancouversun.com




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