With the Grey Cup over, the league’s moratorium on major announcements is now lifted so expect a flurry of announcements in the coming days and weeks. The 2016 CFL season may have come to an end on Sunday, but the manoeuvrings for next year have already begun.
In this randomly-timed column, we (that’s 3DownNation editor Drew Edwards and senior reporter Justin Dunk) present a unique combination of speculation and analysis, using our insider knowledge – what sources from around the league are telling us – together with our own understanding of how things fit together. It’s a little bit of gossip combined with some knowledge and context added in. To be clear, we’re not reporting anything – we’ll do that separately – but we’re not taking wild guesses, either.
With many of the league’s major players gathered in Toronto last week for the Grey Cup, there was plenty of chatter on possible changes across the CFL.
Let’s start in Toronto where the future of general manager Jim Barker remains cloudy but many believe that current Argonauts head man Scott Milanovich will be fired this week. As we’ve written before if Barker is retained, Orlondo Steinauer is expected to be a leading candidate. But another under-the-radar candidate for the Toronto job, should it become available, could be Winnipeg offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice, who took the Bombers to the Grey Cup as head coach in 2012.
A Milanovich ousting could have another consequence: the possible retirement of quarterback Ricky Ray. Toronto has Drew Willy under contract for next season and the thought is that Ray would rather either hang them up or reunite with Danny Maciocia, the leading candidate for the vacant general manager position in with the Alouettes.
That said, while Maciocia continues to be the leading candidate to replace the fired Jim Popp in Montreal, there are still questions about whether he’ll make the jump back to the CFL. If Maciocia stays put at the University of Montreal, look for current Winnipeg assistant general manager and former Ticat Danny McManus to be a serious candidate.
Back in Toronto, that’s a possible destination for current Saskatchewan Roughrider quarterback and free-agent-to-be Darian Durant who is reportedly fuming after current head coach Chris Jones’ recent comments to a Regina newspaper which described the 2013 Grey Cup winner as “moderately successful”
The Riders are said to be interested in Eskimo back up James Franklin via the trade market, favouring the 25-year-old over the Durant, who will turn 35 mid-way through next season.
Saskatchewan may not be the only suitor for Franklin, however. While the Bombers have expressed interest in re-signing quarterback Matt Nichols there’s chatter that they may take a run at Franklin.