Insider Talk: Saskatchewan’s ratio, Lawler’s contract, the best CFL free agent signing

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

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 Saskatchewan’s ratio, the best signing in free agency, Toronto’s signing bonuses, Kenny Lawler’s mega-deal with the Edmonton Elks, Jonathan Woodard’s latest NFL shot, and B.C. paying a lot of money for Canadian defensive end Mathieu Betts.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next week for another edition of Insider Talk.

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Kenny Lawler’s contract (with the Edmonton Elks) gives him no security whatsoever and that’s a problem. Sure he’s due $300,000, but doesn’t get a dime until he makes the final roster. What if he gets hurt training this off-season? What if he tears something in training camp? What if the season gets delayed due to COVID? That’s why you get a signing bonus. It’s the only real way to protect yourself.

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The best free agent signing was (new Ottawa Redblacks’ quarterback) Jeremiah Masoli and I’m not sure it’s even close. You saw what that team was like without a proven quarterback last year. They were awful. He’s going to put them in a position to win games right away. And they didn’t overpay him, which made it easier for them to put talent around him.

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By my count, the Argos are way over the $400,000 off-season signing bonus cap. They’ve given out a lot of upfront money to McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Ja’Gared Davis, Boris Bede, Henoc Muamba, Andrew Harris, Royce Metchie, Chris Edwards, and DaVaris Daniels. They’d be over on just those guys alone.

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Saskatchewan signed (middle linebacker) Darnell Sankey (from the Calgary Stampeders) because I heard they want to go with an all-American front-seven. Between (defensive backs) Mike Edem, Godfrey Onyeka, and Nelson Lokombo they can start two Canadians in the secondary, which they may have done last year but Lokombo got hurt.

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(Former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defensive end) Jonathan Woodard had no business ever playing in the CFL. He’s one of the most polished, plug-and-play pass-rushers I’ve seen in our league. I’m not surprised at all that he’s back in the NFL.

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Players typically get paid based on their production. B.C. better hope that Mathieu Betts has a big bounce-back year, otherwise they overpaid him big time. He got like $170,000 and didn’t have a single sack last year.

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(Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ offensive tackle) Jordan Murray didn’t get any guaranteed money from the Indianapolis Colts. I think we’re going to see him back in the CFL at some point.

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Between J.T. Barrett, Khalil Tate, and Kai Locksley, it’s pretty clear that Edmonton is looking for their own version of Chris Streveler — an athletic quarterback who can do a lot more than just throw the ball. With only two quarterback spots on the roster, they could dress one of those guys as a receiver and have him serve as the No. 3 quarterback. (Head coach and general manager Chris) Jones has had guys like that before with Jordan Lynch (in Edmonton) and David Watford (in Saskatchewan). I’m not saying those guys are Streveler, but they’re multi-faceted like him.