CFL free agency starts off with a splash

By Jason Octavo

With the Tiger-Cats and Blue Bombers meeting in the Grey Cup two seasons in a row, other teams have been looking to upgrade their rosters in preparation for next season.

2019 Grey Cup MVP, Andrew Harris, has signed with the Toronto Argonauts. Harris will earn $165,000 this season. General Manager of the Argonauts, Michael Clemons, says he is the best running back in the CFL. In addition, the Argonauts signed defensive end Ja’Gared Davis.

Communications Manager of the Toronto Argonauts, Mike Hogan, says they’re thrilled to get both players. “There’s still a lot left in Andrew Harris and Ja’Gared Davis is just one of the best defensive players in the league.”

Senior Advisor of the Toronto Argonauts, Jim Barker, says Davis has a lot of experience playing in the Grey Cup. “Ja’Gared has been to the last 5 Grey Cups. He’s been in the game.”

Former Tiger-Cats wide receiver, Brandon Banks also signed with the Toronto Argonauts. Head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, Ryan Dinwiddie, says they can’t wait for him to join the team.

Ottawa signed 16 new players in two days, including quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli.

Masoli led the Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup last season where they lost in overtime to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. However, with the team re-signing quarterback Dane Evans, Masoli signed with the Redblacks on February 7th.

“Maybe people were just surprised at how active Ottawa was because they kind of did what the Argos did in 2020 and 2021 which was really start the stack with free agents,” says Hogan. “They had a pretty poor record over the last couple of years and had been good for so long.”

The Blue Bombers resigned their quarterback, Zach Collaros, for $550,000, making him the highest-paid player for this season. Last year, he was awarded Most Outstanding Player and helped Winnipeg win their second Grey Cup in a row.

The Edmonton Eskimos signed wide receiver, Kenny Lawler for $300,000, making him the highest-paid receiver in the CFL. He was the only receiver to surpass 1,000 yards on route to helping the Bombers win their second straight Grey Cup.

Free agency has allowed fans to stay engaged during the offseason.

Liberal free agency makes it difficult for the top teams to stay good and allows general managers to reconstruct their team if they have been doing bad.

Most fans have complained about the frequency of players joining another team each year. It all began in 2014 when CFL changed the system by providing almost no incentive for players to sign deals of more than one year. This allowed players to obtain more money from one great season.