Ticats sign Simoni Lawrence to a contract extension

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed linebacker Simoni Lawrence to a contract extension through the 2018 season, the team announced on Wednesday. He was set to enter the final of year of his contract.

Lawrence, 27, was named a CFL Divisional All-Star for the third consecutive season in 2016. He started 17 games for the Tiger-Cats, recording a team-high 89 defensive tackles,, one interception returned for a touchdown, four pass knock downs, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He finished the season ranked fourth in CFL defensive tackles.

In 2015, Lawrence was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player and a CFL All-Star and for the first time in his career. The University of Minnesota product has appeared in 78-career CFL games (63 starts) with the Edmonton Eskimos (2012) and Tiger-Cats (2013-16), registering 314 defensive tackles, 13 quarterback sacks and eight interceptions. He has also seen action in nine playoff games, including two Grey Cup appearances in 2013 and 2014 with Hamilton.

Lawrence was originally acquired by the Tiger-Cats on February 5, 2013 from the Eskimos along with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and offensive lineman Greg Wojt in exchange for linebacker Nathan Kanya and offensive lineman Carson Rockhill.


37 Comments on Ticats sign Simoni Lawrence to a contract extension

  1. Excellent news!

  2. Awesome news! Keep it up 21!

  3. Definitely the best trade ever with Edmonton. Great news! Hoping he can return to his 2015 form in 2017.

    • Mark, Simoni was at his best in the 2016 season,your comment is analagous to an over-demanding father.Great news;I agree.

      • His defensive statistics were not as good as 2015 – it was rumoured by some that he was battling some sort of injury as his first couple of games in 2016 were as good or better than 2015 but he never reached that height again. I commend that he was able to battle through his injury if that was the case but I am wishing him better health in 2017 (again if this is the case) so that he can be the overall defensive leader that he was in 2015 and be a candidate for defensive player of the year. I am a fan and not overly demanding of any player – especially one much faster and more muscular than myself.

  4. Marc Antony // January 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm //

    Love it !!! One of my most fav Ticat players ever! Go Simoni in 2017 !!!

  5. I’m just waiting for Terry Baxter to explain why this is bad news.

    • Terry Baxter // January 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm //

      Your wait is not long. First Lawrence is losing a step. Second, there was no urgency to sign him to an extension. The cats have much greater needs they should be concentrating on. Like a left guard, a kicker, and a DC. Looks like Kent is just doing the easy stuff hoping to once again receive that outstanding accolade ie a sneaky good move.

    • Terry Baxter // January 12, 2017 at 2:27 pm //

      And for the record, I am a tiger cat fan. Have been since 1961. A season ticket holder for most of those years. Hell, I may even renew my seats again this year. My comments while certainly can be called negative if you wish, are absolutely correct.

      • I don’t get it. How is it not a good move to sign the core of your defence and probably your top defensive player to a contract extension, before his contract is up an becomes a free agent? Most one-sided trade in recent memory.

        • Terry Baxter // January 13, 2017 at 10:10 am //

          He was not scheduled to be a FA until end of 2017 so there was plenty of time. Kent should concentrate on more immediate needs like a DC.

          • @Terry Baxter: Haven’t you heard? Kent will also be calling the defensive signals for the Cats next season after having so much success doing the same for the offence in 2016. And stop criticizing Kent or making nonsense suggestions … He doesn’t take kindly to that … Ask Drew!

          • So, you’d rather he have waited until the end of 2017 and risked losing him to free agency? I don’t understand how him signing Simoni(a not so sneaky good move) doesn’t allow him to concentrate on other priorities. I think he can walk and chew gum at the same time. Believe me, I’m not one of those “in Kent we Trust” guys…I’d be the first to criticize him for questionable moves.

  6. Great news. Simoni is such an integral part of the defense and a great leader both on and off the field.

  7. No doubt about it…another sneaky good signing by the TC’s…right Terry? 🙂

    • Terry Baxter // January 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm //

      Aw Philski I do not deserve accolades for that phrase. I borrow it from drew when not in use. But on that subject I would not classify this signing as sneaky good. Sneaky perhaps, but not good. This fellow Kent needs to get off the snide and find a DC, a kicker, left guard and a defensive secondary. This move is a sneaky easy move at best.

  8. patllynch // January 12, 2017 at 5:21 am //

    I too believe that Simoni was hurt for a good part of 2016 but he played on . The signing is great news for Cat fans.

  9. Good news. With the return of most,if not all of the front 7, the return (hopefully) of a healthy Greg Butler, the Cats are only a couple of good Db’s away from an elite level Defence. IMO the secondary cost them the season last year.

    • Terry Baxter // January 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm //

      And if my grandmother had wheels she would be a bus. Cats will be going nowhere in 2017. And if the Argos or Als improve just a tad the cats won’t even make the playoffs. It will be tough keeping the 14k fans at THF happy in 2017

      • Terry, I have got to admire your consistency. You are on record that Siminoi is over rated and the Cats are going to miss the playoffs while drawing 14k. Let’s see how the season unfolds. I am on the other side of all those predictions and views. After Collaros and Masoli the next guy I would lock down would be Simoni. Every team has holes to fill. I start with the big pieces first.

        • Terry Baxter // January 13, 2017 at 10:22 am //

          With the move the Als pulled today, my prediction is sound and safe. Re Lawrence I think you have missed my point. He was already under contract for this season. There was no urgency to sign him to an extension. The cats have many huge holes to fill that should be the priority.

          • Agree with you Terry. Als just saved their 2017 season by pulling themselves out of the abyss by signing Durant. Maybe not a long term solution at QB but certainly a short term one. This guy is one of the best, when he’s heathy, and an instant difference maker for the Als. TC’s could not beat him when he was with the Riders (can you say “ouch”…2013 GC, Mr. Austin?) and I don’t expect that trend to change now that he’s an Alouette. I don’t know about 14K but I do know that the novelty of TH’s Field has worn off. Fans want to see a winner and deservingly so. You can only squeeze so much out of a good thing and TC’s have certainly served up the nectar leaving the core of TH’s Field. For me 1999 seems like a life time ago…1986 like a mirage and 1972 almost like it never happened. When I think of Ben Zambiasi getting nickled and dimed by Ballard and threatening to hold out, and see what some of these current TC underachievers are making, it truly brings a tear to my eye.

  10. Ticat Mike // January 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm //

    This is good news. I’m not head over heals — he probably thinks he is better than his performance dictates, but if surrounded with good personnel, he is impactful.
    A bit of a show boat who talks a lot. Now if he can walk the walk, we got something special for a couple more years. He’s a solid piece on a defense that needs better cover people, b etter pass rushing.

  11. Ticat Mike // January 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm //

    And a much more dominant MLB to lead and control the middle of the field.

    • That MLB could have been Elimimian. Too bad TC’s decided to sell the farm for Collaros next season. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering what $520,000 plus bonuses will get you.

      • Terry Baxter // January 13, 2017 at 10:24 am //

        I’m with you Philski. The cats also overpaid by a country mile for Ted Laurent. Horrible salary cap management by this regime.

      • Philski. REALLY. You would swap Collaros for Durant? Is that what you are suggesting? Or are you just gassing? If you want to dump Collaros what is your alternative? Anybody can be a critic. What is your plan? Sign a mystery elite QB for $150k and spend the money on the O line? Great. Specifics please.

        • Nope, not suggesting that at all. My point is that TC’s way overspent on a guy who has yet to play a full season in 3 years, hasn’t won anything, nor set any records. $520,000 plus bonuses for 2017, are you kidding me man? At least Masoli can check off my 3rd point. Maybe it’s me but I find it pretty risky giving a guy a big bucks extension when he’s still in rehab – especially his type of injury (note: see RG3 -is he selling insurance yet?). Some of that overspent money can be used for, hmm, let’s see, finding a DL who can actually stop the run? A DB who can actually hit or tackle? Or how about, just in general, finding players who don’t fall down without being touched and are gone for the season? Sorry, almost forgot as well…how about a REAL offensive co-ordinator? My alternative? Run with Masoli and add Franklin…watched him a couple of times against a tough Lion’s D and he looked pretty decent to me. After watching the train wreck that was the 2016 season I don’t think that the TC’s could do any worse (and no I don’t want to hear the injury excuses – all teams have them).

          • I would be all in favour of signing Franklin but good luck prying him away from the Eskimos who are doing the same thing with him that we just did with Lawrence – locking him up for another year even though he is not a free agent. You then would be in the same situation – giving away the house for an unproven player. I would be scared to try and run with Masoli – he runs too hot and cold and there is no one behind him if his durability streak ends. Quarterbacks are just too hard to find – it seems that only about 1 in 20 guys that you bring in ever becomes a bona fide starter no matter how good their resume is.

          • Philski, that’s just amazing. So back when they signed Collaros you already knew that he would tear his ACL and take a concussion. Wow is your hindsight always this good? The market rate for legitimate starting QB’s is about $400. Collaros was a got commodity and was signed at a premium that made sense at the time. But apparently you knew that he would get hurt .. so you wouldn’t have done the deal.

        • They gave Collaros a contract extension last June – he was still rehabbing from his ACL injury and one could logically deduce at the time that he was still high risk as no telling how the injury would effect him on the field once he returned. As far as me knowing he would get hurt, no, my name is not Kreskin. But all signs point to him being injury prone. He has not completed a full season in 3 years. If you think paying a part time player $520,000 plus bonuses is an efficient way of spending payroll then suffice to say you will never be my accountant. And at this point, 17 years and counting, I probably would swap him for Durant…at least the guy has won a GC and is a champion. Hell they swapped Clements for Brock once upon a time.

          • Clements for Brock was quite a stupid trade – we got a season and a half out of Brock and Clements play another 4 years and was outstanding player in the league in his final season in 1987. If we want durability, maybe we should go after Henry Burris?

          • Terry Baxter // January 16, 2017 at 10:29 am //

            I agree with u Philski. Zugarfan never lets the facts get in the way of his opinions. Zach cannot stay healthy. That is proven season in season out since he got here. I’m quite sure Zugarfan is one of the five or six fans who believe THF is sold out despite the overwhelming evidence.

        • Terry Baxter // January 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm //

          Here are two more stupid trades: Tony Gabriel for practically nothing. Neil Lumsden for Bruce Lemmerman. Or here’s another Troy Davis plus for Jason Maas.

  12. The Iceman // January 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm //

    How can anyone be disappointed with this extension? Best defensive player, great team mate, awesome in the room and community, solid citizen.
    And to boot no terms of the deal were announced. So if he signed a slightly under market value deal for some security and to stay in town some of you dont like that either???

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