Why the Ticats traded Alex-Hoffman Ellis

The Ticats have traded international linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis to the Edmonton Eskimos for a  conditional eighth round pick in the 2018 CFL draft.

Hoffman-Ellis, 26, signed with the Tiger-Cats as a free agent on Feb. 9 but did not appear in a regular season game with the team. Originally pegged as a potentially starter at middle linebacker, Hoffman-Ellis was beaten out in training camp by former NFLer Larry Dean. The team has another newcomer, Will Smith, as insurance as well as Canadian Frederic Plesius.

“We have two guys that are ahead of him and we have depth from a ratio standpoint so it was just a move we needed to make,” Austin said. “He was a ways away from being on the field for us.”

The Ticats will eat a small signing bonus they paid Hoffman-Ellis when he signed but will likely see some cap savings in the long term. The team had Dean on their negotiation list last winter but couldn’t be sure he’d be at training camp.

“At the time, we didn’t have answers at that position and over time we were able to find those answers with a couple of players,” Austin said. “You can’t be caught behind the eight-ball without making moves at the time when you need to fill the need.”

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