Proven CFL receiver Marken Michel intriguing available free agent

Former West Division Most Outstanding Rookie Marken Michel is an intriguing free agent for NFL and CFL teams.

The shifty pass catcher had a solid NFL preseason in 2019 with four catches for 117 yards, most notably a 75-yard touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. Michel has NFL bloodlines with brother Sony currently a running back for the New England Patriots. Michel spent part of the season on Philadelphia’s practice roster and re-signed with the Eagles in January.

General manager Howie Roseman traded for Marquise Goodwin prior to the 2020 NFL draft and that led to Michel being released. Philadelphia also targeted the position on draft day and chose Texas Christian University pass catcher Jalen Reagor in the first round, 21st overall.

The 26-year-old went unselected in the 2016 NFL draft, but signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Michel was released at the end of training camp and went north of the border to Calgary the next year.

During Michel’s rookie CFL season in 2017, he caught 41 balls for 780 yards and three majors. In 2018, Michel made 31 catches for 435 yards with five touchdowns. The five-foot-11, 190-pound target quickly became a favourite of Bo Levi Mitchell, hauling in 72 of his passes for 1,215 yards and eight touchdowns with a 16.9 yards per catch average.

If no other NFL opportunity comes to fruition for Michel, CFL teams would covet a proven playmaker in the Canadian game. With training camps likely to be shortened — if a season is played at all — teams will be looking for veterans who can step in and play quickly.

Michel could provide a potential big-play option as a smooth-moving route runner with a physical presence. The UMass product ran a 4.57 40-yard time at his pro day and pumped out an impressive 25 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Michel might just be a bargain who could sign a one-year “prove-it” deal in order to show teams he’s healthy and productive once again.