Why the Ticats traded Abdul Kanneh and what it means

Some quick thoughts on the Ticats decision to trade defensive back Abdul Kanneh to the Toronto Argonauts:

1. This is what a team does when they are trying to get anything for a guy they are about to cut. An eighth-round pick is, essentially, a slight upgrade from a bag of footballs unless a team gets extremely lucky. It allows Kanneh to stay on his existing deal, however, and allows the Ticats to salvage something.

2. My colleague Steve Milton, who has been at every day of training camp, told me last week that he thought Kanneh was on the bubble. He was taking fewer reps with the first team. Kanneh played some boundary half (where he was an all-star in Ottawa) but spent a lot of time at boundary corner in camp. He was the team’s starting SAM for much of the tail end of last season.

3. Milton is pretty convinced the Ticats are going to play a ton of man-to-man under new defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville and there were questions whether Kanneh was well suited to that scheme. Remember that Kanneh was signed during the old Kent Austin regime with a different DC in place. New coaches like different guys.

4. There should be some cap savings from the move, given that Kanneh was signed as a free agent before last season after an all-star performance in 2016.

5. The Ticats cuts still haven’t been released (!!!) so it’s tough to get a sense of what the secondary will look like week one. We know Stephen will be the starter at safety and Richard Leonard will be the field half Jumal Rolle is likely in the mix as is Frankie Williams after that… the status of Don Unamba, who went down in the win over the Alouettes on Saturday, will also be a factor.

6. Trading Kanneh to the Argos is tough because they are division rival, though I would imagine they shopped him across the CFL. The Ticats have seen a few guys head down the QEW and have success including defensive backs Cassius Vaughn and Rico Murray now with Ottawa both of whom have Grey Cup rings. Kanneh strikes me as the type of guy who will take some pleasure in sticking it to his old team.

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