Canadians are the lifeblood of the CFL. Teams need to start a minimum of seven Canucks per game and need to ensure depth to get through an entire season. Example: Ottawa started 10 nationals in the Redblacks’ 104th Grey Cup victory.
Teams need to start a minimum of seven Canucks per game and need to ensure depth to get through an entire season. Example: Ottawa started 10 nationals in the Redblacks’ 104th Grey Cup victory.
There is a multifaceted group of Canadian free agents: proven starters, up-and-comers, role players and corps special teamers. Let’s run down the top 10 non-imports who are currently and likely to hit the open market:
1) Cleyon Laing, DL
The top Canadian free agent is already on the market. Laing is an impact maker on the interior of the defensive line who spent part of the 2016 season on the Miami Dolphins practice squad before joining Ottawa to give them a boost for their 2016 Grey Cup run.
2) Nolan McMillan, OL
A wrist injury limited the 26-year-old to just seven games last season, but he’s young, in his prime and has the ability to play tackle.
3) Jabar Westerman, DL
Proven starter who has been durable, playing in a minimum of 16 games in each of his five seasons in the league.
4) Marc-Olivier Brouillette, DB/LB
Coming off an East all-star campaign, Brouillette could be hitting the open market at the right time. He’s a quality safety and great addition to any locker room.
5) Cory Greenwood, LB
Injury issues need to subside – missed 16 of a possible 36 games in last two seasons. When Greenwood is on the field, he’s a ratio-breaking linebacker.
6) Dan Federkeil, OL
Talent is there, but health needs to improve. Plays at a high level when in between the white lines.
6) Jeff Perrett, OL
Veteran who has plenty of experience. Lots of starts under his belt.
7) J’Michael Deane, OL
30-year-old Canadian blockers with Deane’s experience are valuable. He can help any team with offensive line needs.
8) Nicolas Boulay, LB
Excellent special teams player who has started games at linebacker. He can step in and play on defence. Looking for an opportunity to get increased defensive snaps.
9) Kienan LaFrance, RB
Burst into the spotlight during the Eastern Final with 25 carries for 157 yards and one touchdown. LaFrance is looking to cash in on a strong Grey Cup run.
10) Matt Webster, DB
Youngest Canuck defensive back on the market. Athletic with some starts. Rising player who could be a great value for the team that lands him. Hard-working and smart.