Insider Talk: CFL free agency, Hamilton’s ratio, legal tampering window

Photo courtesy: Ticats.ca

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Ottawa’s strategy in free agency, Hamilton signing Canadian slotback Lemar Durant, Edmonton signing aging veterans Adarius Bowman and Manny Arceneaux, Adam Bighill leaving money on the table, and more.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back on Wednesday, Feb. 16 for another edition of Insider Talk following free agency.

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Ottawa is taking free agency seriously this year. I heard they’re flying in a number of players during the legal tampering period to check out the facilities and meet a bunch of their staff. It’s a smart move considering they’re building from the ground up.

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Hamilton signed Lemar Durant because they’re going to start two Canadian receivers (in 2022). That’ll allow them to start (American) Don Jackson at running back, which probably means (Canadian) Sean Thomas-Erlington is going to sign elsewhere.

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(Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ linebacker) Adam Bighill ruined the market for linebackers in 2021 and he’s done it again in 2022. You shouldn’t be discounting yourself as the league’s top defensive player. He can afford to because he has a high-paying off-field job in Winnipeg but most other players don’t have that luxury. It’s hurting them.

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The B.C. Lions want to start a Canadian running back in 2022. That should factor into what they do in free agency. There are a bunch of them that are set to hit the market.

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Those signings in Edmonton (inking a 36-year-old Adarius Bowman and a 34-year-old Manny Arceneaux) are such a slap in the face to people who do the daily grind of working in personnel. What a joke.

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If I were Ottawa, I’d go out and sign the best three or four receivers who hit free agency. There’s not a single receiver on that roster who is good enough. They need an injection of talent there to give whoever their quarterback is a fair shot.

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I have no idea why B.C. keeps re-signing (offensive lineman) Sukh Chungh, especially at that price point. I get that he’s local but he’s a bad fit for that offence because he can’t pass block very well. It’s possible they’ll revamp the scheme to fit (new starting quarterback Nathan) Rourke but that’s not traditionally how (offensive coordinator) Jordan (Maksymic) has styled his offence.

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The guess the negotiating window technically opened on Sunday but let’s be honest: in the CFL, the tampering window never closes.