Tiger-Cats ‘working through process’ with veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have a plan for Simoni Lawrence, according to head coach and president of football operations Orlondo Steinauer.

The longtime black and gold linebacker has gone unsigned into the middle of February which has never happened during his nine previous seasons in Steeltown.

“We’re still working through that process. It’s trending extremely favourably for us and I think for Simoni also. It’s just he’s not in this bucket of signings at this time,” Steinauer told local media.

The 34-year-old made 41 tackles in nine games last year with various lower-body injuries causing him to miss nine regular season games. That’s the most amount of games Lawrence has missed in one season through his entire career.

He’s not far removed from being highly productive, notching 73 tackles, four sacks, three interceptions and scoring two touchdowns in the pandemic-shortened campaign. Lawrence was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the third time in his career in 2021 while also earning his third CFL all-star selection and fifth East Division all-star honour.

No. 21 ranks first all-time in franchise history with 632 defensive tackles in 136 games. He’s recorded 30 sacks, 14 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and three touchdowns with the Ticats. Lawrence is the most recognizable active player and many fans want to see him back in Hamilton for a run at the Grey Cup. It seems as though Steinauer wants to make it happen.