A week after injuries took a toll on their Canadian depth, the Ticats have acquired national receiver Seydou Junior Haidara from the B.C. Lions.
Haidara, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 CFL draft, will provide depth behind star receiver Andy Fantuz. The Ticats had hoped that Spencer Watt, who was signed a free agent in February, would fill that role but Watt tore his Achilles during an off-season training session and is out for the year. The team has also lost Canadian defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh to the same injury.
At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Haidara has good size and while his offensive output has been underwhelming thus far – seven catches for 77 yards in two seasons – he also has 24 special teams tackles during that period and should be able to make a significant contribution on coverage teams.
In exchange for Haidara, the Ticats sent a fifth round pick to the Lions, along with the rights to a player on Hamilton’s negotiation list. That seems like good value for Hamilton, though it’s impossible to tell without knowing who the Ticats gave up.
The addition of Haidara may also clear up the Ticats draft strategy, clearing the way for them to select one of the quality offensive lineman that may be available when they select at No. 8.
For the Lions, Haidara was buried on the depth chart behind fellow Canadians Marco Iannuzzi and Kito Poblah and the team recently signed former NFLer Austin Collie to a contract.