Making sense of the Ticats releasing DeVier Posey

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

On Wednesday, Ticats’ head coach Orlondo Steinauer announced that the team had released receiver DeVier Posey. Posey initially signed with the Ticats ahead of the cancelled 2020 season and re-upped with the team ahead of the 2021 season, but never played a down for the franchise.

The reason given for Posey’s release was that during his absence a number of first-year players — namely, Tim White, Papi White, and Steven Dunbar Jr. — stepped up and made the 2017 Grey Cup MVP expendable. This is not unusual in the CFL, as we have seen many higher-priced veteran players let go for inexpensive counterparts. It is all part of the salary cap world the CFL lives in.

But this does beg the question of why the team signed him in the first place. You can never account for injuries, so I’m sure Posey would have suited up for the Tabbies had he been completely healthy, but signing him was always a luxury, at least when it comes to 2021.

Heading into 2020, the Ticats were without Bralon Addison as he had signed in Minnesota. He was released by the Vikings and inked a two-year deal with the Tiger-Cats at Christmastime last year.

Around that same time, the team announced that reigning CFL M.O.P. Brandon Banks had also agreed to a new contract. Yet despite bringing both their all-star receivers back, and still having Jaelon Acklin on the roster as well, the Ticats opted to bring Posey back for 2021. It felt like overkill then and feels like a waste now.

For the record, I don’t think DeVier Posey is a bad player or his acquisition was a bad signing. He had his best year under current Ticats’ offensive coordinator Tommy Condell when the two were in Toronto together, and he has proven during his time in the CFL that he can be a valuable piece to any team he has been on.

But the Ticats didn’t need much receiver help going into 2020 and really didn’t need it going into 2021. Even while adding a player like Posey could make the offence even deadlier, it was a luxury signing, not a necessity.

Instead of inking Posey to a new deal for 2021, the Ticats may have been better off trying to fix an actual problem area and one that has been a problem all season — the offensive line.

Using the money they gave Posey might have better spent trying to attract a veteran left tackle, or if possible used to try and keep Ryker Mathews from bolting for the B.C. Lions in free agency. The Ticats have spent the entire 2021 season looking for solutions along the offensive line, and it is the one spot on the team that remains a problem as we get set to start the second half of the truncated 2021 campaign.

Adding a big-play threat like Posey must have been enticing and that was why they made the move, but given that he never made it onto the field, it feels like a bad move in hindsight.

Posey will catch on somewhere else — let’s not get it twisted, he is a talented player and will help whatever team picks him up — but the footnote that will end up being his Ticats’ tenure will be filled with what-ifs, not just for himself but for what the team could have done if they didn’t bring him in.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.