Stampeders’ president and general manager John Hufnagel has been known to say that you will “never find a bargain on the first day of free agency” and often stays out of the fray when dollars start flying around the league.
Hufnagel stayed true to his word, in a sense, when he added offensive lineman Sean McEwen a few days prior to the beginning of the 2020 money-throwing frenzy.
The Calgary native is coming back to McMahon Stadium where he was a part of a Dinos team that won three Hardy Cups before being drafted by the Argonauts in the first round in 2015.
McEwen went on to start all 72 games for the Argos over the next four seasons and was the team’s nominee for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2017, while twice being the nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian.
Hufnagel has to be excited about McEwen’s durability as injuries have plagued the Stampeders’ offensive line the last few seasons. The team has started Ucambre Williams at centre after seeing Cam Thorn, Karl Lavoie, Spencer Wilson, Nila Kasitati, Justin Lawrence and Pierre Lavertu all spend time there since McEwen took the job in Toronto.
By signing McEwen, the Stampeders have strength down the middle to help what was often a stagnant rushing attack in 2019. The Stamps finished dead last in rushing yards last season and averaged just 4.6 yards per attempt. That was more than a half yard per attempt less than the previous year.
Having an elite centre between all-star Shane Bergman and either Ryan Sceviour or a returning Brad Erdos along the interior should jumpstart the run game. The Stampeders are hoping to once again balance their offence with a better run-pass mix allowing Bo Levi Mitchell to open up the downfield game.
The addition of McEwen has the potential to make the Stampeders even more dangerous and allow the offence to possibly return to the form that carried them to three-straight Grey Cup appearances before losing to the Blue Bombers in the 2019 West Semi-Final.
3DownNation is unveiling its list of the top 100 active CFL players, a project that will run through December 31, 2020. To read the criteria for player eligibility, click here. The list to date can be found below.
56. REC Eugene Lewis, Montreal Alouettes
57. DB Greg Reid, Montreal Alouettes
58. DL Mike Moore, Edmonton Football Team
59. OL Ryker Mathews, B.C. Lions
60. DB Tunde Adeleke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
61. LB Jameer Thurman, Free Agent
62. QB Matt Nichols, Toronto Argonauts
63. DB Jamar Wall, Calgary Stampeders
64. DB Loucheiz Purifoy, Saskatchewan Roughriders
65. REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions
66. OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
67. OL SirVincent Rogers, Ottawa Redblacks
68. QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Free Agent
69. DB/RET Frankie Williams, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
70. DB T.J. Lee, B.C. Lions
71. QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
72. SAM Anthony Cioffi, Free Agent
73. DB Shaquille Richardson, Toronto Argonauts
74. REC Kamar Jorden, Calgary Stampeders
75. OL Darius Ciraco, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
76. REC Jalen Saunders, Free Agent
77. QB Dane Evans, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
78. REC Brad Sinopoli, Ottawa Redblacks
79. RET Janarion Grant, Free Agent
80. DE Avery Ellis, Ottawa Redblacks
81. DE Cordarro Law, Calgary Stampeders
82. DB Brandon Alexander, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
83. OL Jermarcus Hardrick, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
84. DB Branden Dozier, Free Agent
85. SAM Otha Foster, Saskatchewan Roughriders
86. DB Antoine Pruneau, Ottawa Redblacks
87. RB John White, B.C. Lions
88. LB Avery Williams, Ottawa Redblacks
89. LB Jovan Santos-Knox, Free Agent
90. DB Richard Leonard, Calgary Stampeders
91. REC Armanti Edwards, Edmonton Football Team
92. RB C.J. Gable, Free Agent
93. DT Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
94. REC S.J. Green, Free Agent
95. DB Mike Edem, Saskatchewan Roughriders
96. DE John Bowman, Montreal Alouettes
97. DB Taylor Loffler, Montreal Alouettes
98. QB Nick Arbuckle, Ottawa Redblacks
99. ST Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
100. DE Chris Casher, B.C. Lions