Ten top CFL free agents who are available right now

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The CFL recently released its official free agent list, allowing fans to start fantasizing about which star players their favourite team could sign.

Though clubs will have to wait until February 9, 2021 to officially sign any pending free agents, there are several talents already on the market.

Below I’ve listed ten impact players, most of whom have been released following NFL opportunities in 2020. All are true free agents, meaning they are eligible to be signed by CFL teams as the moratorium on player signings ended last week.

Players are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

REC Bralon Addison

The five-foot-nine, 195-pounder was sensational in 2019, earning a CFL all-star nod after recording 95 receptions for 1,236 yards and seven touchdowns. Also formidable along the ground — he had 36 carries for 218 yards and a score last season — Addison would be a difference-maker for any CFL team looking to add a versatile offensive weapon.

DB DaShaun Amos

The 26-year-old became a full-time starter for the Calgary Stampeders last season, posting 43 total tackles and five interceptions at field-side halfback. Amos was released by the Green Bay Packers in September and could help any CFL team looking for an upgrade in the secondary.

SAM Anthony Cioffi

Released by the New York Jets earlier this year, Cioffi was one of few bright spots for the lowly Ottawa Redblacks in 2019. He has 110 total tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and two sacks over 33 CFL games, making an impact from the all-important strong-side linebacker position.

REC T.J. Jones

The Winnipeg native spent six seasons in the NFL with the Lions (2014-18) and Giants (2019) before almost inking a free agent contract with Toronto for 2020. The deal hit a snag due to the collective bargaining agreement, but Jones remains a potential elite national receiver for a team that can get him to sign.

REC Bryant Mitchell

The six-foot-two, 200-pound target lit it up with Edmonton in 2018, making 60 receptions for 867 yards and three touchdowns in just 11 games. Mitchell is a free agent after stints with Arizona (2019) and Tampa Bay (2020) and would be an impact addition for any CFL receiving corps.

DB Marcus Sayles

He’s been on and off with the Minnesota Vikings since January, but this former West Division all-star is currently a free agent. Sayles started 18 games at boundary halfback for the Blue Bombers in 2019, making 66 total tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and one sack en route to a Grey Cup victory.

RB William Stanback

Waived by the Raiders in August, the CFL’s most powerful running back is on the market for any team to sign. Coming off a 2019 season during which he carried the ball 170 times for 1,048 yards and five touchdowns, Stanback is the type of player a team could look to build its offence around.

Editor’s note: the Montreal Alouettes have signed RB William Stanback since the publication of this article.

LB Jameer Thurman

The Indiana State product was a standout with Calgary for two seasons (2017-18), recording 163 total tackles, three sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles in 35 games. He was cut at the end of training camp with the Chicago Bears in 2019 and most recently played for the DC Defenders of the XFL.

DL Nick Usher

The six-foot-three, 235-pounder recorded 36 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles with Edmonton in 2019 as a rotational pass rusher. Cut by the Raiders in August, this 25-year-old would make a perfect addition to any CFL team looking for a full-time starter at defensive end.

REC Derel Walker

This four-time divisional all-star has 5,248 receiving yards in just 64 career games, averaging an incredible 82 yards per game. The 29-year-old never signed a CFL contract for 2020, which means he’s been a free agent since February when he chose not to re-up with the Toronto Argonauts.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.