It’s been a long time since the CFL last played a game, so we’ll forgive you for forgetting some of the player movement that’s taken place over the past seventeen months.
Now that we will officially have a fourteen-game regular season in 2021, it’s time to take a look at some big-name players who will be debuting for new teams.
Players are listed alphabetically by last name.
DL Tobi Antigha — Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The 28-year-old achieved notoriety back in 2018 when he split time at defensive end and safety under Chris Jones in Saskatchewan, recording 23 total tackles, three interceptions, and two sacks. He’ll play an important rotational pass rushing role in Winnipeg alongside Jackson Jeffcoat and Willie Jefferson.
LB Larry Dean — Saskatchewan Roughriders
The three-time all-star will look to become the marquee player on Saskatchewan’s defence following the departures of Charleston Hughes and Cameron Judge to Toronto. Dean has shown no signs of slowing down over four CFL seasons, recording 373 total tackles, six sacks, five forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
REC Armanti Edwards — Edmonton Elks
The deep threat caught 69 passes for 1,014 yards and seven touchdowns with Toronto in 2019 after finishing the previous two seasons just shy of the 1,000-yard milestone. The former college quarterback will look to prove that he can still get behind opposing defences at the age of 33.
LB Henoc Muamba — Toronto Argonauts
The CFL’s reigning Most Outstanding Canadian signed with the Boatmen after he was unable to come to terms on a contract extension with the Alouettes in February 2021. Muamba is coming off arguably the two best seasons of his career as he continues to pursue his first Grey Cup.
QB Matt Nichols — Ottawa Redblacks
The veteran quarterback signed with Toronto in January 2020 following a five-year stint with the Blue Bombers. Unable to restructure his contract following the cancellation of the 2020 season, Nichols signed with Ottawa in January 2021 where he was reunited with former offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice.
REC Dominique Rhymes — B.C. Lions
The six-foot-four, 215-pound target was by far Ottawa’s best offensive player in 2019, making 65 receptions for 1,056 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll look to replace Duron Carter at boundary wide receiver in B.C., rounding out a receiving corps that also includes Bryan Burnham, Lemar Durant, and Lucky Whitehead.
REC Eric Rogers — Toronto Argonauts
The two-time all-star was traded to the Argos in January 2021 after he and the Stampeders were unable to agree on a contract extension. The six-foot-three, 215-pounder is one of the most prolific red zone targets in the CFL, recording 27 career touchdown receptions in just 45 career games.
DB Marcus Sayles — B.C. Lions
The 26-year-old was a West Division all-star with the Blue Bombers in 2019, recording 66 total tackles, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He spent portions of the 2020 season with the Minnesota Vikings but ultimately decided to return north, signing a three-year deal with the Lions.
DL Almondo Sewell — Montreal Alouettes
The future Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee spent nine seasons in Edmonton where he made 282 tackles and 60 sacks, earning six all-star nods. Montreal is hoping the 34-year-old still has some gas left in the tank as they look to improve the league’s worst pass rush from 2019.
RB John White IV — Toronto Argonauts
The seven-year veteran is coming off his first career 1,000-yard season when he recorded 192 carries for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns with the B.C. Lions in 2019. He’s pencilled in as the starting running back in Toronto where he’ll look to make an impact behind a rebuilt offensive line.