CFL Free Agency started today and the Blue Bombers made a splash.
Here is who they've signed and traded for, some of this happened before free agency opened:
- Stefan LeFors, QB, Edmonton (trade)
- Tyrone Williams, DT, BC
- Sideeq Shabazz, LB/S, Edmonton (trade)
- Glenn January, OT, Saskatchewan
- Steve Morley, OT, Saskatchewan
- James Johnson, CB, Saskatchewan (trade)
- Burke Dales, P, Calgary
- Shawn Gallant, LB, Montreal
- Ade Jimoh, CB, NFL
- Keyuo Craver, CB, AFL
Here is who they've lost and traded away, some before FA opened:
- Jerome Haywood, DT (released)
- Kai Ellis, DE, (trade)
- Alex Gauthier, OT
- Dominic Picard, C
- Kyle Koch, G
This team is going to be interesting next season. Kevin Glenn, the incumbent starting QB, won't be there, he will likely be released soon and signed by Hamilton. SB Milt Stegall likely won't be there. He will likely retire, ending one of the greatest CFL careers of all time.
So on top of all the moves that have been made, they are losing their starting QB and the face of the franchise.
Stefan Lefors: He will be the starting QB next year, he has very little CFL experience and was the 3rd QB in Edmonton before new coach Mike Kelly traded a high draft pick for him. I don't particularly like the move, but he's more mobile than Glenn and has potential. For Kelly's sake, this had better work out.
Tyrone Williams: He used to be one of the best DTs in the CFL, but he's getting up there in years and has been injured. He does have a fierce desire to prove his doubters wrong though, but he has a tough job to do in replacing Jerome Haywood. Although Haywood was only 5"8', he weighed over 300 lbs and was a great pass rusher and adequate run stopper. I have mixed feelings about this move. I was a big Haywood fan, but if Williams can find his game again, he's a definite improvement.
Sideeq Shabazz: I really like this move. The Bombers are losing starting WILL LB Cam Hall and could lose SAM LB Ike Charlton, so getting Shabazz is a great move. The Bombers also have a ton of depth at LB, with the best LB in the CFL, Zeke Moreno, tackle machine Barrin Simpson and a very solid young player in Joe Lobendahn and Kelly Malveaux, who is more of a DB, but played some LB as an injury replacement and was great. Shabazz and Malveaux give the Bombers great versatility and in my opinion, the best LB corps in the league.
Glenn January/ Steve Morley: These signings are to replace Alex Gauthier, but the talent that the Bombers are getting doesn't equal the talent they lost. My guess is that they will start Morley, because he's Canadian and won't impact their ratio.
James Johnson: I really like this move. The Bombers defensive backfield improved last year from two years ago, but what they lacked is a ball-hawk. They have it now. Johnson has eight INTs over the past two seasons and had three in the Grey Cup two years ago, against the Bombers. The drawback on him is that he's short, (5"8'), but I don't see any problems with having him as the #1 corner.
Burke Dales: I love this move. I can't say enough about the improvement that Dales is. Alex Serna was a horrible K/P last season, just awful, the worst part? He was an import. Now the Bombers have a good, Canadian punter. Now they just have a crappy kicker.
Shawn Gallant: I like this move. He's a Canadian returning to the Bombers. He's a good special teams player and could help replace Graeme Bell, who is expected to leave via free agency.
Ade Jimoh, Keyuo Craver: No strong feelings either way, these are depth signings, although I could see them getting significant playing time.
Obby Khan, who hasn't been a regular on the Bombers for a couple of years due to sickness and injury will have to play at his old form to take the sting away from the loss of Picard. Khan was the Bombers outstanding OL two years ago.
The worst part of the losses is that all three of those linemen are Canadians.
So, what do you think?