Laurent to hit free agency, Ticats still talking with Fantuz

Hamilton Tiger-Cats  defensive tackle Ted Laurent is expected to hit free agency at noon on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, vice-president of football operations Kent Austin said Monday that the return of Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz remains a possibility.

“The door’s not shut with Andy right now,” Austin said. “But he’s like other free agents, we’re trying to piece the whole puzzle together.”

After a flurry of re-signings yesterday, including Hamilton receiver Luke Tasker, the free agent market is constantly in flux – and things will continue to change once the market opens.

“We have a plan and guys that we’ve identified but there’s a lot of different scenarios that could take place,” Austin said. “It’s a pretty fluid situation but we have a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios.”

The 30-year-old Laurent, who played in 12 games in 2017 making 13 tackles and registering four sacks but has been a perennial all-star with a Canadian passport, will likely be sought after by several days. 3DowNation’s Justin Dunk believes that both Montreal and Ottawa could be in the mix.

If Laurent goes elsewhere, the Ticats could look to pick up a starting Canadian at another position. Running back Jerome Messam, who was with general manager Eric Tillman in Edmonton, could be a fit given that Hamilton has two national backs already on the roster.

Other areas the Ticats could look to address in free agency include strong-side linebacker – B.C.’s Chandler Fenner is the big name available – and defensive back, where there a number of talented players including T.J. Heath, Tommie Campbell and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. If the Ticats decide to dip into the kicker market – American Kenny Allen remains largely unproven – Canadian Lirim Hajrullahu and another ex-Ticat, Brett Maher, are expected to be available.

Tune into 3DowNation’s live blog starting at 11 a.m. for all the up-to-the-minute CFL free agency news. Should be an interesting day.

– with files from Steve Milton.