2021 CFL free agent rankings: specialists

Special teams is a key facet of Canadian football.

With a large field, howling winds, and only three downs, CFL teams need specialists who can help flip the field in key situations.

Below are our rankings of the league’s pending free agent kickers, punter, longsnappers, and return specialists.

Come back on Tuesday for our list of the top 25 CFL free agents ahead of things getting underway at noon ET.

Kickers/Punters

Americans

1) Justin Medlock, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

It’s possible that the 37-year-old will retire, but Medlock remains the greatest placekicker in CFL history.

He has connected on 377-of-436 career field goal attempts (86.5 percent) with a long of 58 yards. Medlock has also become one of the league’s best punters with a net average of 37.3 yards in 2019.

Nationals

1) Brett Lauther, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The native of Truro, N.S. opted out of his contract with Saskatchewan in August 2020, though he never signed in the NFL.

His numbers were down in 2019, but the former West Division all-star has a big leg and a solid 82.9 career field goal percentage.

2) Jon Ryan, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The longtime NFL punter is now 39, but has no plans to retire.

Ryan was named a CFL all-star in 2019 for having a league-best 48.8-yard punting average. His true net average of 33.1 yards wasn’t as strong, however, ranking second-last in the league.

3) Ronnie Pfeffer, Calgary Stampeders

The 28-year-old has spent the past five years bouncing between active and practice rosters, dressing for 30 career games.

Signed to be the replacement for the retired Rob Maver in Calgary last year, Pfeffer is now set to hit the open market.

Longsnappers

Americans

None.

Nationals

1) Chad Rempel, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The CFL’s oldest active player is coming off another fine season and has missed just three games due to injury over the past five seasons.

2) Pierre-Luc Caron, Calgary Stampeders

The Laval product has done consistently strong work for the Stamps, dressing for 71 of a possible 72 games over the past four seasons.

3) Mike Benson, Montreal Alouettes

The 33-year-old has dressed for 89 games with Edmonton, B.C., and Ottawa.

4) Tanner Doll, B.C. Lions

The 27-year-old is coming off his first full CFL season during which he dressed for eighteen games with the Leos.

5) Maxime Latour, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Sherbrooke product dressed for three games in 2019 when Rempel was out due to injury.

6) Zach Greenberg, Free Agent

The Winnipeg native has yet to dress for his first CFL regular season game.

Returners

Americans

1) Lucky Whitehead, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The former Dallas Cowboy took the CFL by storm in 2019, making seven receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns in his second career game.

The Florida Atlantic product was eventually replaced by Janarion Grant, but still managed to record 596 yards and one touchdown on 20 kickoff returns.

2) Chris Rainey, B.C. Lions

He turns 33 in March, but a respectable season with Toronto in 2019 was enough for B.C. to bring Rainey back to the west coast.

The speedster has seven career return touchdowns while also chipping in on offence as a running back and receiver.

3) Kevin Fogg, Montreal Alouettes

The 30-year-old is capable of starting in the secondary, but is also an effective return specialist.

Fogg has two career return touchdowns along with an impressive 11.4-yard punt return average.

Nationals

1) Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, Free Agent

The bobsleigh star has dressed for 41 career games, recording 1,478 yards on 67 returns with a long of 66.

Click the link below for our previous positional installment and come back tomorrow for our top 25 player rankings.

2021 CFL free agent rankings: quarterbacks
2021 CFL free agent rankings: running backs & fullbacks
2021 CFL free agent rankings: receivers
2021 CFL free agent rankings: offensive linemen
2021 CFL free agent rankings: defensive linemen
2021 CFL free agent rankings: linebackers
2021 CFL free agent rankings: defensive backs




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