Why the Ticats decision to re-sign Mike Daly is a sneaky-good move

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed Canadian defensive back Mike Daly to a two-year contract and there’s a lot to like about the deal.

Daly has played 49 games over the last three seasons, contributing mostly on special teams (he had 13 tackles on kick coverage units last season.) But he’s good enough to get the team through a game a safety if there’s an injury and he can start in pinch: he’s made nine starts, including three this season.

The Ticats have started a Canadian safety for most of the last four years under Kent Austin and, with former all-star Craig Butler expected to return after knee surgery, will likely do so again in 2017. That would allow Courtney Stephen, who played safety most of last year, to move back to the field corner spot giving Hamilton two national starters into backfield. Daly and second-year man Jay Langa will provide valuable depth and special teams work.

Daly also has roots in the area having grown up in Kitchener and played his college ball at McMaster. For a former sixth round draft pick, he’s blossomed into quite a valuable piece – and he’s just 26. He does quite a bit of work with the team’s community programs as well.

Re-signing players in December allows the Ticats to allocate any bonus money paid to them against the 2016 salary cap, offering them the opportunity to save a little space next season. They don’t have a ton of cap room left but every little bit helps.

Daly would have been a free agent in February and it’s always possible he would have been able to get a better deal on the open market – some teams may have considered him as a possible full-time starter. But with a record number of players set to hit the market, he could have just as easily been squeezed out as teams look to spend big dollars on the marquee players. He knows his role in Hamilton and has roots in the community: it makes sense for him, too.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1392 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

31 Comments on Why the Ticats decision to re-sign Mike Daly is a sneaky-good move

  1. Terry Baxter // December 20, 2016 at 1:11 pm //

    Every year you use ‘sneaky good’ to describe these signings. Would rather see better signings and more wins the any of this sneaky crap

    • No sure what your issue is — the description used for the article, or that you feel Daly wasn’t worth re-signing?

      Canadian depth is important, as the most successful teams demonstrate year in year out. To me that’s exactly what Daly provides, with the bonus that he’s been a starter when needed. I feel he’s one of about a dozen potential Ticat free agents that is important to bring back, so it’s nice to see the team do it early in the offseason.

      I too want to see “better signings” but some of those won’t happen until mid-Feb at the earliest, and most new players the team may ink before then will be relative unknowns at the CFL level. Until then, keeping key players (starter or depth) in the fold without having to bid for their services is good, sneaky or otherwise.

      • Terry Baxter // December 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm //

        What does ‘sneaky good’ mean??? He uses this term every year. Where’s the sneak??? You want to sign the guy or not???? Drew is becoming a parody of himself. Sneaky good my eye!!! Daly wasn’t goung anywhere.

        • Lennywasout // December 20, 2016 at 4:18 pm //

          I have read just about every article Drew has written over the last few years and I don’t remember any one with “sneaky good” let alone several. And if he has, so what? Why complain about it. You write some articles if you can do better.
          Holy crap…critical over nothing.
          Drew has too much class to give it back to you.
          If you don’t like it, stop reading his articles.
          Be happy in life

          • Colin Ferguson // December 21, 2016 at 6:58 am //


            Troll not on small things. Be happy with big things.

            Glad to see local telent re-signed. Cats are a community project. Glad ownership realises.that so clearly. 🙂

            Stay Classy Hamilton!

          • Terry Baxter // December 21, 2016 at 11:33 am //

            Keep looking buddy. Not my problem you can’t find them

  2. Oh Mr. Baxter your always a bundle of joy when you post . I don’t think I have seen you write something positive ever ! Merry xmas and happy new year to drew and all of tigertown and congrats to Mike daly on resigning glad your back !

    • Terry Baxter // December 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm //

      Lol. I have too said positive things. Merry Christmas to you and yours too Randy. And let’s hope 2017 cats give me nothing negative to say lol

  3. Its not rocket science. This isnt a blockbuster signing like landing a Cam Wake or an SJ Green, in fact its one that goes under most radars. But Daly is stellar canadian depth, a great STer and has strong roots in the community. Sneaky good signing. I fail to see the difficulty with that. Oskee wee wee

  4. Daly could very well be a starting defensive back in 2017.Wise move.

  5. Lindsay Wilcox // December 20, 2016 at 2:57 pm //

    Yup; win-win.

  6. I like this signing whether it’s considered “sneaky good” or not. Quality Canadian depth is important to long term success and Austin knows this. Edem was a depth player and left for a starting role in BC last off season. Daly might well have done the same and the team would have lost a good national player so it’s good to see that Daly wanted to return.

    • Good point and I am sure we would have signed Edem in a heartbeat if we knew that Butler would not be available for 2016.

  7. Good signing. I imagine we won’t hear much until mid January. Off season is so painful
    Anyway, Merry Holidays and a great New Year to Drew ,3downation and fellow Scratchingpost blog commenters.

  8. Good article.

  9. He’s horrible at safety. Way too slow, can’t tackle, always out of position. I’d like the Cats to groom someone else to replace Butler (draft or sign). Daly is a good special teamer but that’s where it ends. Always thankful for community efforts so happy for him.

  10. No CFL team would play a guy who was horrible. It’s a tough position to play and if your going to start a Canadian at safety your not going to have a weak backup.

    • I could start naming them if you like lol…he’s a horrible safety… not special teamer… I will make a mix take of him getting torched and post it to youtube if you wanna watch… SG Green loves Mike Daly.. so does Derrel Walker… watch the Mtl and Esk games… totally target him all game long. Just saying – happy holidays 🙂

    • Terry Baxter // December 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm //

      They would if there was no one else. And the cats had no one else. Now that is sneaky. Letting a guy like Edem walk…sneaky good for sure….for the Lions lol

  11. Daly is a great signing. In golf we would say that he is sneaky long, i.e. he’s a solid hitter.

    • Terry Baxter // December 21, 2016 at 11:51 am //

      Lmao. Hmmm oh ok then. Wanna see sneaky good?? Look at what the lions did today. Solid franchises continually improve yeR in and year out. Not like our hapless cats. Alas….stay sneaky good cats

      • Got to agree with you Terry. With all due respect to Dean, Elimimian sure would have looked good in a TC uniform at MLB. This guy is the whole package. He also knows he’s that close to a GC with the Lions which is why he signed, albeit other teams would have offered him more dinaro. The TC’s? Like I commented before, and obviously in the minority, the good ship Austin has sailed it’s final course. First Mates Condell and Orlando have already jumped ship. It’s time for change in Tiger Town…17 years and counting…

        • Terry Baxter // December 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm //

          Indeed Philski. 100% spot on. And let’s get a guy in here who knows how to draft and then actually use the players in the position they were drafted for not just ST. Our drafting has sucked under Austin. Change is needed in tiger town. After next season it will be 18 and counting for sure.

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  13. Terry Baxter // December 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm //

    I’m seeing other teams signing their key FA. Calgary, BC ottawa. And the best the cats can do with our long list of pending FAs is pull sneaky moves!!!!????? Pathetic!!!!

  14. Terry Baxter // December 23, 2016 at 10:26 am //

    Hey anyone notice the sneaky good moves the stamps have made? Re signing Law and Hughes. Sneaky sneaky good

    • True … of course there’s also the sneaky sneaky good move of signing Reed then releasing him in September followed by losing to his new team in Nov. *grin*

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