What every CFL team did in free agency, ranked


With the first few days of CFL free agency in the books, 3DownNation’s Drew Edwards and John Hodge have ranked the nine CFL teams on their work so far, taking into consideration what they reportedly paid for their acquisitions and the players they lost.

* denotes a re-signing.

Kienan LaFrance

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers


NAT REC Nic Demski (SSK)
NAT RB Kienan LaFrance (SSK)
INT DB Chandler Fenner (BC)
NAT REC Mitchell Baines (HAM)
INT DL Craig Roh (BC)


NAT DL Jamaal Westerman (MTL)
INT DB T.J. Heath (TOR)
NAT REC Julian Feoli-Gudino (OTT)
NAT LB Sam Hurl (SSK)


NAT DT Jake Thomas

Notes: The Bombers used free agency to get younger, more talented, and add local flavour in Winnipeg natives Demski and LaFrance. Demski replaces an aging Westerman as a Canadian starter (albeit at a different position), while Fenner is essentially a younger and more physical version of Heath. Roh provides pass rush depth with Jackson Jeffcoat and Tristan Okpalaugo.

Julian Feoli-Gudino

2. Ottawa Redblacks


INT DE A.C. Leonard (SSK)
INT DB Loucheiz Purifoy (BC)
INT DB Rico Murray (TOR)
NAT REC Julian Feoli-Gudino (WIN)
NAT LS Tanner Doll*
NAT DL Cameron Walker (TOR)
NAT DB Andrew Lue (EDM)
INT LB Kyries Hebert (MTL)
NAT DT Daryl Waud (TOR)


NAT DT Zack Evans (SSK)
NAT DB Adam Berger (CGY)
INT REC Juron Criner (EDM)
NAT REC Jake Harty (SSK)


INT LB Sedarius Bryant
INT DB Jerrell Gavins
NAT DL Arnaud Gascon-Nadon
INT LB Taylor Reed

Notes: Evans leaves a gaping hole in the middle of Ottawa’s defensive line, though many are excited to see what A.C. Leonard will be able to achieve in Noel Thorpe’s system. Purifoy and Murray possess the versatility teams covet, while Lue, Walker, and Feoli-Gudino are nice depth additions.

Lirim Hajrullahu

3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats


NAT K Lirim Hajrullahu (TOR)
NAT LB Nick Shortill*
INT LB Larry Dean*
NAT DT Ted Laurent*


NAT LB Mitchell Barnett (BC)
INT DB Dominique Ellis (MTL)

NAT FB C.O. Prime

Notes: The Ticats didn’t add much, but they lost very little. Retaining Dean, Laurent, and Shortill was key, while Hajrullahu brings with him a Canadian passport and the ability to perform all three kicking jobs. Hamilton is clearly banking on their late-season success spilling into 2018.

4. Edmonton Eskimos


INT RB John White*
INT DE Alex Bazzie (BC)
NAT LB Adam Konar*
INT DB Johnny Adams*
INT DB Forrest Hightower*
INT REC Jamill Smith*
NAT LB Doug Parrish
INT DB Nick Taylor*
NAT REC Rory Kohlert
INT REC Juron Criner (EDM)
INT RB Travon Van*


INT OL Joel Figueroa (BC)
INT DL Euclid Cummings (BC)
INT DB Garry Peters (BC)
INT K/P Swayze Waters (TOR)
NAT REC Corey Watson (BC)
NAT DB Andrew Lue (OTT)


NAT OL Simeon Rottier
INT LB Alex Hoffman Ellis

Notes: Retaining Adam Konar was an excellent move for an Eskimo team that saw the Calgary product take on an increased role last season. Bazzie will take over Odell Willis’ old rush end spot, though Figueroa and Cummings will be missed in the trenches.

TJ Heath

5. Toronto Argonauts


INT DB T.J. Heath (WIN)
INT K/P Swayze Waters (EDM)
INT DB Ronnie Yell (B.C.)
INT DB Johnny Sears*
NAT DB Jermaine Gabriel*
NAT RB Greg Morris


NAT K/P Lirim Hajrullahu (HAM)
INT DB Mitchell White (MTL)
INT DB Rico Murray (OTT)
NAT DL Cameron Walker (OTT)
INT QB Cody Fajardo (BC)
NAT DT Daryl Waud (OTT)


INT LB Bear Woods
INT DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
INT REC Jeff Fuller
INT RN Brandon Whittaker

Notes: Retaining Jermaine Gabriel was key, while Heath is an elite CFL cover man. The Argos have a hole at middle linebacker, but there’s still the possibility of re-adding Bear Woods. Waters will need to regain his 2014 form or the Argos will regret letting Hajrullahu get away.

Emanuel Davis

6. Calgary Stampeders


INT DB Emanuel Davis (HAM)
NAT DB Adam Berger (OTT)
NAT DL Ese Mrabure (SSK)
INT LB Deron Mayo*
INT RB/KR Roy Finch*
INT OL Derek Dennis (CGY)


INT DB Joe Burnett (MTL)
INT DB Tommie Campbell (MTL)
NAT RB Jerome Messam (SSK)



Notes: Calgary never spends lavishly in free agency and this year was no exception. Retaining the dynamic Roy Finch was huge, while Mrabure, Berger, and Davis are key depth signings. All of the Stamps’ departures are over the age of thirty which, for a team looking to get younger, isn’t a bad thing.

Travis Bond

7. Saskatchewan Roughriders


NAT OL Zack Evans (OTT)
NAT RB Jerome Messam (CAL)
INT OL Travis Bond (WIN)
NAT OL Dan Clark*
NAT FB/TE Spencer Moore*
NAT REC Jake Harty (OTT)


NAT LB Henoc Muamba (TBA)
NAT REC Nic Demski (WPG)
NAT RB Kienan LaFrance (WPG)
INT DE A.C. Leonard (OTT)
NAT DL Ese Mrabure (CGY
INT DN Otha Foster (BC)
INT OL Derek Dennis (CGY)
NAT RB Greg Morris


INT OL Bruce Campbell
NAT DT Eddie Steele

Notes: Adding hometown product Zack Evans was one of the best signings league-wide, but the Riders lost too much young national talent to consider this year’s free agent period a win. Messam will soon turn 33, while Bond has yet to prove he can excel at the tackle spot.

Joel Figueroa

8. B.C. Lions


INT DB Otha Foster (SSK)
NAT REC Corey Watson (EDM)
INT DL Euclid Cummings (EDM)
INT DB Garry Peters (EDM)
INT OL Joel Figueroa (EDM)
INT OL Jeremy Lewis (MTL)
NAT OL Chris Greaves (MTL)
NAT DB Dominique Termansen (MTL)
NAT LB Mitch Barnett (HAM)
INT DB A.J. Jefferson (OTT)
INT QB Cody Fajardo (TOR)


INT DB Chandler Fenner (WPG)
INT DL Alex Bazzie (EDM)
INT DB Louchiez Purifoy (OTT)
INT DB Ronnie Yell (B.C.)
INT DL Craig Roh (WPG)


NAT OL Kirby Fabien
INT REC Nick Moore

Notes: Ed Hervey wanted to improve at the line of scrimmage and the additions of Cummings and Figueroa will certainly help. Foster will help secure the strong-side linebacker position, but the losses of Fenner and Purifoy will hurt the Lions on the back end.

Jamaal Westerman

9. Montreal Alouettes


NAT DL Jamaal Westerman (WPG)
INT DB Tommie Campbell (CAL)
INT DB Joe Burnett (CAL)
INT DB Mitchell White (TOR)
INT QB Drew Willy*
INT DB Dominique Ellis (HAM)
INT K Boris Bede*
INT OT Xavier Fulton*
NAT DB Tevaughn Campbell*
NAT OL Matt Vonk*
NAT REC S.J. Haidara*


NAT DB Dominique Termansen (BC)
NAT OL Chris Greaves (BC)
INT LB Kyries Hebert (OTT)

INT DB Brandon Stewart

Notes: For a team that desperately needs to get younger, Montreal didn’t hesitate to add or retain a swath of players on the wrong side on thirty in Burnett (31), Campbell (30), Willy (31), Fulton (31), and Westerman (33).


About the author

Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards has covered the CFL for 10 season and is the founder and editor of 3DownNation. Beard in the photo not exactly as shown.

Drew Edwards By Drew Edwards

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