Elite talent among Riders pending free agents

There are a number of big-name Riders who could hit the open market in February.

Chris Jones and Saskatchewan’s front office has some decisions to make and work to do if the football operations staff wants to retain key pieces who have helped the Riders’ resurgence. Priorities include an intriguing, young quarterback, the team’s leading receiver, its most talented Canadian pass catcher, left tackle and a freak athlete defensive end and a top sack man.

Canadian signal caller Brandon Bridge has shown No. 1 potential in 2017, guiding Saskatchewan to multiple regular season wins while producing and picking up the offence each time he’s entered the game. Enigmatic playmaker Duron Carter sees his one-year deal expire in February, if no NFL opportunities present themselves the amount of money offered will be very interesting. Athletic Canuck target Nic Demski got off to an excellent start and though he missed nine regular season games, the Winnipeg native is expected to be coveted if he gets to the open market. After getting Bruce Campbell out of retirement he’s been a stud at left tackle, which was a sore spot for the Riders in 2016. The former Raiders draft pick has shored up the blind side in Riderville.

Integral parts of the defence are due to come available if not re-signed. Willie Jefferson fits Jones’ defensive scheme perfectly and end A.C. Leonard has a deal that runs out after the 2017 campaign, he’s impressed converting from receiver to pass rusher and notched 10 sacks in two Riders’ seasons. Veteran leader Jovon Johnson started all 18 games in the secondary for Saskatchewan and really has become a trusted presence.

Outside of Demski, some key Canadians are up: long-time Rider Dan Clark, running back and kick returner Greg Morris, special teams demon Spencer Moore, plus Makana Henry and Eddie Steele, stout national interior defensive linemen.

Listed by position, Riders pending free agents:

Brandon Bridge – national

Running back
Greg Morris – national
Shakir Bell – international

Duron Carter – international
Spencer Moore – national
Nic Demski – national
Devon Bailey – national
Chris Getzlaf – national

Offensive line
Dan Clark – national
Bruce Campbell – international
Thaddeus Coleman – international

Defensive line
Willie Jefferson – international – signed extension through 2018
A.C. Leonard – international
Ese Marabure – national
Zach Minter – international
Eddie Steele – national

Cameron Ontko – international
Beau Landry – national
Otha Foster – international
Jeff Knox – international

Defensive back
Jovon Johnson – international
Kacy Rodgers – international

Kicker and punter
Quinn Van Gylswyk – national

Notable players under contract:
QB, Kevin Glenn, signed through 2018 – international
RB, Trent Richardson, signed through 2018 – international
RB, Kienan LaFrance, signed through 2018 – national
RB/RET, Marcus Thigpen, signed through 2018 – international
REC, RET, Chad Owens, signed through 2018 – international
REC Rob Bagg, signed through 2018 – national
REC Namaan Roosevelt, signed through 2018 – international
OL, Derek Dennis, signed through 2019 – international
OL, Josiah St. John, signed through 2018 – national
OL, Peter Dyakowski, signed through 2018 – national
DL, Ivan Brown, signed through 2018 – national
LB, Henoc Muamba, signed through 2018 – national
LB, Sam Eguavoen, signed through 2018 – international
DB, Ed Gainey, signed through 2019 – international
DB, Mike Edem, signed through 2018 – national
DB, Marc-Olivier Brouillette, signed through 2018 – national
LS, Jorgen Hus, signed through 2019 – national

Must Read