2023 CFL free agency: LIVE

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8:00 p.m. ET — With that, we are signing off for the night. A huge thank you to all those who stuck with us for their free agency coverage. Make sure to check back tomorrow as 3DownNation continues to keep you covered with all the latest news from the CFL and around the Canadian football landscape.

7:50 p.m. ET — With signings slowed down for the night, take a look at who your team added (and lost) in our team-by-team free agency recap.

7:01 p.m. ET — Our own Justin Dunk drops a late blockbuster, as he reports that strongside linebacker Chris Edwards will be heading down the QEW from Toronto to Hamilton.

6:18 p.m. ET — Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette reports that the Alouettes are close to re-signing running back Walter Fletcher.

5:25 p.m. ET — 3DownNation is pleased to report that this writer is finally eating lunch.

4:46 p.m. ET — Saskatchewan is covering some of their losses in the receiving corps, officially signing Canadian Juwan Brescacin. He’s struggled with injuries lately but is a top player when healthy.

4:41 p.m. ET — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have made a splash, signing receiver Duke Williams from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I, for one, think Duke to The Hammer is a perfect fit, given how he likes to use his helmet like one.

4:15 p.m. ET — The Riders have added some pass rush opposite Pete Robertson, making official the signing of defensive end Stefen Banks. He has eight career sacks in two years with the Stamps.

3:56 p.m. ET — The Elks make the Kevin Francis signing official. Chris Jones brought him into the league as a pet project, now he’s a dominant special teamer.

3:55 p.m. ET — Philip Blake to the Riders is now official, not that you doubted John Hodge in the slightest.

3:44 p.m. ET — The Shaq attack is moving to Ottawa! The Redblacks have inked former Riders receiver Shaq Evans to a one-year contract.

3:42 p.m. ET — The B.C. Lions continue to hunt for a new running back, signing former Buffalo Bill Antonio Williams.

3:40 p.m. ET — Just a heads up for all the fanfiction writers out there, James Tuck to the Montreal Alouettes is now official CFL canon.

3:31 p.m. ET — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have officially signed defensive back Javien Elliott from the Stampeders. He has 12 career tackles in just five games but saw a lot of action in four NFL seasons.

3:26 p.m. ET — Following the retirement of Pierre-Luc Caron, the Alouettes needed a long snapper. It appears they’ve found one by signing veteran Louis-Philippe Bourassa.

3:25 p.m. ET — The Toronto Argonauts have found their replacement for Lawrence, signing former Redblacks centre Darius Ciraco.

3:17 p.m. ET — The Alouettes have signed East Division all-star centre Justin Lawrence, just as John Hodge reported would happen earlier this week.

3:15 p.m. ET — And the other shoe has finally dropped for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as the team has made it official that receiver Jake Wieneke will join his former quarterback Trevor Harris in Regina.

3:05 p.m. ET — TSN’s Dave Naylor reports that the Elks have signed the CFL’s leader in special teams tackles from a year ago, former Lions linebacker Kevin Francis.

3:02 p.m. ET — Edmonton is back at it with another receiver signing, confirming the addition of East Division all-star Steven Dunbar Jr. With Eugene Lewis, Dillon Mitchell, Manny Arceneaux and now Dunbar, is anyone going to be able to cover the Elks?

3:00 p.m. ET — The Ottawa Redblacks have signed former Riders linebacker Gary Johnson Jr. He played sparingly over the past few seasons but proved to be a beast on special teams.

2:53 p.m. ET — And Schleuger to the Lions becomes official.

2:51 p.m. ET — The B.C. Lions are adding offensive tackle Chris Schleuger, formerly of the Montreal Alouettes, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

2:49 p.m. ET — Another big-time addition for Montreal, as 3Down‘s John Hodge reports they’ve signed former Ticats corner Jumal Rolle, the top defensive back on the market.

2:48 p.m. ET — The Montreal Alouettes put pen to paper with their third QB of the day, inking Davis Alexander to a one-year extension.

2:40 p.m. ET — 3Down‘s fearless leader Justin Dunk drops a bomb on free agency day, revealing that former Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ strongside linebacker Kameron Kelly might leave for the XFL.

2:35 p.m. ET — Big news from our own John Hodge, as the Edmonton Elks have agreed to terms with receiver Sammie Coates, a former third-round NFL Draft pick.

2:33 p.m. ET — It’s official! Trevor Harris is the new starting quarterback of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, coming over from Montreal on a two-year deal.

2:30 p.m. ET — The Ottawa Redblacks have officially signed American defensive tackle Michael Wakefield, who began his CFL career in the nation’s capital.

2:15 p.m. ET — According to comments by Winnipeg general manager Kyle Walters, Bombers’ backup Dakota Prukop could be testing the USFL.

2:03 p.m. ET — As our own Justin Dunk reported yesterday, defensive tackle Micah Johnson is officially coming back to Riderville. The monster in the middle spent 2019 and 2021 with the team.

2:01 p.m. ET — The Ottawa Redblacks officially have a new middle linebacker, announcing the signing of former Ticat Jovan Santos-Knox.

1:57 p.m. ET — According to 3Down‘s Ryan Ballantine, Dave Dickenson is pretty pleased with his moves during his first free agency as Stampeders’ general manager. He believes the new defensive end combo of James Vaughters and Julian Howsare “has the potential to cause problems for the opposition.”

1:45 p.m. ET — Toronto continues to make moves, this time adding to their pass rush. Defensive end Thomas Costigan has signed with the club for next season.

1:37 p.m. ET — The Toronto Argonauts have signed fullback Mario Villamizar. That fills a need for them following the retirement of Declan Cross.

1:19 p.m. ET — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have inked former Stampeders receiver Shawn Bane Jr. to a contract. He can contribute on offence or in the return game.

1:18 p.m. ET — The Ottawa Redblacks have made official the signing of offensive tackle Terran Vaughn.

1:15 p.m. ET — Eugene Lewis’ massive contract with the Edmonton Elks is now official. He’ll take home a whopping $320,000 this year.

1:05 p.m. ET — The B.C. Lions are reuniting Vernon Adams Jr. with his old backup, making the signing of quarterback Dominique Davis official.

12:54 p.m. ET — The Alouettes have their backup for Cody Fajardo, announcing the signing of former Redblacks quarterback Caleb Evans. He holds the single-season CFL record for rushing touchdowns by a QB.

12:53 p.m. ET — More offensive line help is coming to Saskatchewan, as our own John Hodge has reported that the team has signed veteran Canadian Phillip Blake. He can play guard or tackle.

12:50 p.m. ET — The Saskatchewan Roughriders officially have a new centre. The team has announced the signing of former Lion Peter Godber.

12:45 p.m. ET — The Toronto Argonauts have made official the signing of Stampeders’ defensive end Folarin Orimolade, which was broken by Justin Dunk last week.

12:43 p.m. ET — TSN’s Farhan Lalji is reporting that East Division all-star Julian Howsare will be joining the Calgary Stampeders to fill their vacant defensive end spot.

12:42 p.m. ET — The Edmonton Elks are swerving to correct course this season, making official the signing of former Riders receiver Kyran Moore.

12:40 p.m. ET — A few vital depth signings being reported by TSN’s Farhan Lalji. The Alouettes are signing veteran fullback James Tuck, while the Saskatchewan Roughriders have inked Canadian receiver Juwan Brescacin.

12:38 p.m. ET — A bombshell from 3DownNation’s own Justin Dunk, who reports that the Montreal Alouettes have signed veteran receiver Greg Ellingson. After losing Eugene Lewis, the Als have a new top pass catcher.

12:36 p.m. ET — The B.C. Lions have made it official, signing B.C.-born centre Michael Couture away from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with a two-year deal.

12:35 p.m. ET — Chris Jones just can’t quit Josiah St. John! 3DownNation‘s John Hodge is reporting that the former first-overall CFL Draft pick is joining the man who selected him in Edmonton.

12:32 p.m. ET — The Toronto Argonauts have won the sweepstakes for SAM linebacker Adarius Pickett. The 26-year-old had several suitors but is headed to The Six.

12:25 p.m. ET — TSN’s Dave Naylor is reporting that the B.C. Lions have agreed to terms with Canadian receiver Justin McInnis, a former first-round pick of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

12:18 p.m. ET — Another expected move, as high-priced receiver Kenny Lawler will officially be returning home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

12:15 p.m. ET — The Montreal Alouettes draw first blood, announcing that they’ve signed former Roughriders’ quarterback Cody Fajardo to a two-year contract. They also might be launching a streaming service… details are unclear.

12:12 p.m. ET — Stampeders’ defensive back Javien Elliott could be bound for Hamilton, according to Calgary play-by-play voice Mark Stephen.

12:07 p.m. ET — Tick tock, guys! We’re waiting!

12:00 p.m. ET — LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

11:58 a.m. ET — Could speedy third-string QB Dakota Prukop be back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? John Hodge thinks he could be.

11:52 a.m. ET — Justin Dunk reports that multiple teams are interested in 39-year-old sack master Charleston Hughes. His preferred destination? Back where it all began with the Calgary Stampeders.

11:40 a.m. ET — TSN’s Farhan Lalji is reporting that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will make former B.C. Lion Joel Figueroa the highest-paid American offensive lineman in the CFL with a deal worth $195,000. That’s a good chunk of change!

11:38 a.m. ET — According to our own John Hodge, Canadian defensive back Godfrey Onyeka will likely be back with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He’s logged starts at cornerback and strongside linebacker in the past.

11:30 a.m. ET — Just as Justin Dunk predicted earlier this morning, the Ottawa Redblacks have signed former CFL all-star halfback Cariel Brooks.

11:20 a.m. ET — Thousand-yard rusher James Butler bid adieu to the B.C. Lions on yesterday, saying he was looking forward to “embracing a new province.” Our own Justin Dunk reported last week that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were in hot pursuit of the running back’s services.

11:00 a.m. ET — We’ve only got one more hour to go until free agency is officially underway. Let’s get it!

10:45 a.m. ET — Shawn Lemon, our sixth-ranked pending free agent, has tweeted that there’s “fresh lemonade for sale” at 12:00 noon ET. It sounds like the West Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player is headed to free agency.

10:33 a.m. ET — 3DownNation reporter John Hodge says that former CFL all-star defensive back Jumal Rolle will not be back with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2023. He made 158 tackles and 11 interceptions over four seasons in Steeltown.

10:21 a.m. ET — 3DownNation reporter Justin Dunk has dropped a doozy: the Edmonton Elks will make Eugene Lewis the highest-paid non-quarterback in the CFL on a two-year contract. Once signed, the star receiver will make $320,000 in 2023.

10:12 a.m. ET — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have re-signed Global linebacker Les Maruo through 2023. The native of Yokkaichi, Japan was a first-round pick in the 2021 CFL Global Draft and had recorded 14 defensive tackles, 13 special teams tackles, and one sack over 24 career regular season games.

10:00 a.m. ET — CFL free agency is now officially two hours away. Which team will be the first to announce a new deal?

9:58 a.m. ET — Jameer Thurman has said farewell to Calgary on his Twitter page following a fourth season with the team. The veteran linebacker is 3DownNation’s fifth-ranked pending free agent and is reportedly signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

9:51 a.m. ET — 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk has reported that Cariel Brooks appears to be joining the Ottawa Redblacks. The veteran defensive back was named a CFL all-star in 2021 with Hamilton after racking up 23 tackles, one sack, and a career-high five interceptions.

9:35 a.m. ET — Oh, by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers! You are the best and we sincerely appreciate your support.

9:22 a.m. ET — Eugene Lewis, 3DownNation’s top-ranked pending free agent, has posted a message thanking the Montreal Alouettes and their fans on his Twitter account. The East Division’s reigning Most Outstanding Player represents himself in contract negotiations and has been linked to the Edmonton Elks. Could he be heading west?

9:12 a.m. ET — 3DownNation reporter Justin Dunk says multiple teams are interested in four-time divisional all-star Greg Ellingson, who caught 38 passes for 598 yards and three touchdowns over eight games with Winnipeg this past year.

9:06 a.m. ET — The CFL finally broke its silence regarding the ownership of the Montreal Alouettes on Tuesday, announcing that it has taken over the operations of the team on an interim basis. Mario Cecchini is back as the team’s president on an interim basis ahead of a new owner being secured.

9:02 a.m. ET — The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed American wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, who has had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, and Tennessee Titans since going unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was a standout at Vanderbilt where he made 98 receptions for 2,356 yards and 22 touchdowns.

9:00 a.m. ET — Boom! 3DownNation’s list of the top 50 CFL free agents has officially dropped. Check it out here.

8:53 a.m. ET — 3DownNation reporter John Hodge has linked former first overall CFL draft pick Josiah St. John to the Edmonton Elks. This makes a lot of sense as Chris Jones, who is now the head coach and general manager in Edmonton, held the same roles in Saskatchewan when St. John was drafted by the Riders in 2016.

8:36 a.m. ET — Today is not only when free agency gets underway, but it’s also the last day for players under contract with CFL teams for 2023 to sign in the NFL. This means that high-profile players who drew NFL interest like Kian Schaffer-Baker (Saskatchewan) and Dalton Schoen (Winnipeg) will be in the CFL this year unless they sign with a team down south by 12:00 noon ET.

8:15 a.m. ET — On days like today, coffee feels insufficient. Your correspondent has opted for Red Bull.

8:00 a.m. ET — 3DownNation will be unveiling its top 50 free agents in one hour! Spoiler alert: the top five players who haven’t already agreed to deals are Shawn Lemon, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Adarius Pickett, Darnell Sankey, and Kameron Kelly.

7:45 a.m. ET — There are plenty of talented players set to hit the open market later today, but there are a few who are already available since being released in recent days. Canadian running back Ante Litre (Edmonton), American defensive lineman Mike Moore (Montreal), and American defensive back Cariel Brooks (Hamilton) should all be of interest to teams around the league.

7:30 a.m. ET — Pending free agents were permitted to negotiate with teams across the league during last week’s “legal tampering” window. A number of contract agreements were reached, though they can’t formally be signed until free agency gets underway today at 12:00 noon ET.

Players with agreements reportedly in place include QB Dominique Davis (B.C.), QB Cody Fajardo (Montreal), QB Trevor Harris (Saskatchewan), WR Steven Dunbar Jr. (Edmonton), WR Kenny Lawler (Winnipeg), WR Kyran Moore (Edmonton), WR Jake Wieneke (Saskatchewan), OL Michael Couture (B.C.), OL Justin Lawrence (Montreal), OL Terran Vaughn (Ottawa), DL Stefen Banks (Saskatchewan), DL Kwaku Boateng (Hamilton), DL Micah Johnson (Saskatchewan), DL Folarin Orimolade (Toronto), DL Casey Sayles (Hamilton), DL Michael Wakefield (Ottawa), LB Jovan Santos-Knox (Ottawa), and LB Jameer Thurman (Hamilton).

Welcome to the 3DownNation 2023 CFL free agency live blog!

We will be around all day to provide the latest news, insight, analysis, and rumours surrounding CFL free agency. We’ve done many live blogs in the past and we are excited that you’ve chosen to join us for this year’s edition. There’s lots of fun to be had over the next 12-plus hours, so let’s get rocking.