Goodbye to Getzlaf, Hello New Guys

February 24, 2016 - 6:02pm

The Rider outlet store is having a sale that ends on Monday and I took advantage of the sale to grab myself a Tino Sunersi signature jersey.

Tino is a living example of a young quarterback who was thrown to the wolves and got no help from the former Rider coaching staff led by Cory Chamblin and when people ask, I like to point out that he even came back to the Riders after being cut after training last year – not that that helped.

I mention this because one of the things I noticed at the sale, and even one of the sales staff mentioned this, was that a lot of the jerseys up for sale used to belong to players no longer with the Riders. You can now add Chris Getzlaf to that list.

According to reports out of Edmonton, Getzlaf is about to sign with the Edmonton Eskimos, which is not a surprise after he returned from a specialist in the States and the Riders apparently did not extend him a contract offer considering his injury history. Getzlaf was making about $225 K a year, which is a lot considering how many games he missed, and the Riders have stocked the shelves with younger Canadian receivers in better shape.

This move was not unexpected considering Getzlaf’s injury history and his high salary and the Riders releasing Weston Dressler and John Chick. Of the three, I personally would say Dressler was the bigger hurt because he had an insane work ethic and apparently his lack of size didn’t help him in the new offense envisioned by Chris Jones.

Getzlaf is a Regina kid, and I remember watching him at University of Regina Rams games making insane catches over the middle. Unfortunately, you cannot pay big money for someone who has missed substantial parts of two seasons with a recurring foot injury and who is past 30 years. In Edmonton Getzlaf will probably be the fifth receiver, and if he does OK, fair enough, but the Riders are doing an amazing makeover and the biggest question will be how the pieces fit together.

On the same day that reports came out about Getzlaf leaving, the Roughriders announced international quarterback/receiver Armanti Edwards, international defensive back David Barks, international linebacker Samuel Eguavoen, and international linebacker D.J. Lynch have all signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contracts were not released.

Edwards (5’11 – 190) signs with the Riders after spending five seasons in the National Football League as a receiver. The 27-year-old played 39 regular season games through four seasons with the Carolina Panthers after being selected by the team in the 3rd round (89th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Greenwood, South Carolina product added two more regular season games in 2013 after joining the Cleveland Browns midseason.

 Before pro, Edwards spent four seasons at Appalachian State University, starting 49 of 51 collegiate games at quarterback, where he led the Mountaineers to four straight Southern Conference championships and consecutive NCAA Div. 1 Football Championships (FCS) in 2006 and 2007. During his tenure, Edwards became the first quarterback in NCAA Div. 1 history to throw for 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards on his way to picking up All-Southern Conference 1st Team honours in 2006, 2008, and 2009.

Barks (6’0 – 185) joins the Riders after spending the previous four seasons at Northwood University. In 39 career collegiate games, the Detroit, Michigan native registered 116 defensive tackles, five tackles for loss, three interceptions, and one quarterback sack.

Eguavoen (6’0 – 227) joins the Green and White after playing four seasons at Texas Tech. The 23-year-old registered 225 defensive tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 quarterback sacks and one interception in 48 career collegiate games.

Lynch (6’0 – 252) signs with the Riders after playing 48 career collegiate games through four seasons at Bowling Green University. The 23-year-old collected 230 defensive tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, and eight quarterback sacks.

The one that caught my eye and others as well is Edwards who was a quarterback in college. The fact the Riders added quarterback to his resume after being a listed as a receiver in the NFL suggests Jones is following a similar blueprint as he used in Edmonton.

The Eskimos last year had Jordan Lynch, who was a second or third string quarterback who played special teams and perhaps some offensive series as well. Quarterbacks do not count towards the ratio, so having Edwards suggests the Riders may have some receiver throwing the ball like we did in the days of Jason Armstead. If Edwards plays on special teams, there will be more likelihood of passes or fakes.

The Riders made their most intriguing signing of the day with defensive tackle/end Hasan Hazime while releasing fullback Matt Rea.

Hazime (6’5 – 280) will join the Riders after spending the last three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In 35 career games the 28-year-old product of Wake Forest has registered 23 defensive tackles, three tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, and two special teams’ tackles.

 Hazime was originally selected by the Edmonton Eskimos in the 5th round (36th overall) of the 2012 CFL Draft before being acquired by Hamilton in a February, 2013 transaction.

This signing gives the Riders a lot of flexibility to have Hazime fill in along the defense line or spell off Justin Capicciotti. The Riders are also listing draft picks Rob Connop and Brandon Tennant, but assuming those guys will play special teams and get rotated in now and then, they will be allowed to develop or else they will get cut. This is a lot of potential Canadians on the defensive line, assuming they pan out in the mix.

So here is the updated roster/depth chart with the signings, and releases and everything.

QB- Darian Durant, Brett Smith, BJ Coleman, Armanti Edwards

 RB- Curtis Steele, Kendial Lawrence, Stephen Houston, Malcolm Cyrus, Terrance Cobb,

 Devrin Young, Brandon Deschamps, Melvin Abankwa

 FB- Spencer Moore, Carl Fitzgerald

 WR- John Chiles, Jeremy Kelly, Ryan Lankford

 SB- Namman Roosevelt

 SB- Maurice Price, Alex Carroll, SJ Haidara, Michael Campbell

 SB- Shamawd Chambers, Nick Demski, Jordan Reeves

 WR- Rob Bagg, Shay Hoge, Etauj Allen

 LT- Bruce Campbell, Joseph Treadwell, Darryl Johnson

 LG- Brendan Labatte

 OC- Dan Clark

 RG- Chris Best, Andrew Jones, Matt Vonk, Aaron Picton

 RT- Jarriel King, Quinterrius Eatmon, Kamalie Matthews

 

 DE- Shawn Lemon, Sage Harold, Marcus White

 DT- Caesar Rayford, Rory Connop, Brandon Tennant, Tim Agbaje

 DT- Corvey Irvin, Terrius George

 DE- Justin Capicciotti, Hasan Hazime Dylan Ainsworth, Levi Steinhauer, Ryan Jones

 LB- Jeff Knox, Nehemie Kankolongo, Samuel Eguavoen

 MLB- Greg Jones, Dede Lattimore

 LB- Otha Foster, Denicos Allen, D.J. Lynch

 

 CB- Curtis Brown, Tevaughn Campbell, Robert Sands

 HB- Derrius Brooks, Kwame Adjei

 S- Graig Newman, Johnathan Shuler, Matt Webster, Dan West

 HB- Tyree Hollins

 CB- Ed Gainey, Marte Sears, David Barks

 

 K- Tyler Crapinga

 P- Josh Bartel

 LS- Jorgen Hus

 KR/PR- Kendial Lawrence, Nick Demski

 

 Re-sign:

 DE- Dylan Ainsworth

 

 Extend:

 WR- Rob Bagg (3 year extension)

 DT- Terrius George

 S- Matt Webster

 FB- Spencer Moore

 QB- Darian Durant (1 year restructure)

 OG- Chris Best (1 year restructure)

 

 Trade:

 *4th round pick to Toronto for LT- Bruce Campbell

 *2017 4th round pick to Calgary for DB- Tevaughn Campbell

 *DT- Andre Monroe to Toronto for OT- Jarriel King

 *6th (45th), 7th (54th) to Ottawa for WR- Maurice Price and a 7th (52nd)

 Sign:

 DE- Shawn Lemon (Ottawa)

 DE- Justin Capicciotti (Ottawa)

 MLB- Greg Jones

 WR- John Chiles

 CB- Derrius Brooks

 RB- Kendial Lawrence (Edmonton)

 SB- Shamawd Chambers (Edmonton)

 LB- Otha Foster (Edmonton)

 DT- Corvey Ivrin (Montreal)

 DB- Ed Gainey (Hamilton)

 OT- Jarriel King

 DE- Caesar Rayford

 RB- Curtis Steele

 OG- Andrew Jones

 S- Graig Newman

 RB- Malcolm Cyrus

 WR- Jeremy Kelly

 WR- Shay Hoge

 WR- Jordan Reeves

 DB- Robert Sands

 DB- Marte Sears

 DB- Curtis Brown

 DE- Ryan Jones

 OT- Joseph Treadwell

 RB- Devrin Young

 QB- BJ Coleman

 OT- Quinterrius Eatmon

 RB- Melvin Abankwa

 WR- Michael Campbell

 CB- Nick Taylor (Cut)

 WR- S.J. Haidara

 DB- Kwame Adjei

 OL- Aaron Picton

 RB- Brandon Deschamps

 P- Josh Bartel

 DB- Dan West

 DE- Sage Harold

 LB- Dede Lattimore

 DB- Johnathan Shuler

 WR- Etauj Allen

 RB- Terrance Cobb

 OT- Darryl Johnson

 OT- Kamalie Matthews

 

 Free Agents:

 WR- Ryan Smith (Winnipeg)

 WR- Chris Getzlaf

 OL- Corey Watman (Toronto_

 DE- Alex Hall

 OT- Levy Adcock (BC)

 OT- Xavier Fulton

 DB- Paul Woldu

 LB- Kevin Regimbald (Tor)

 DE- Dan Unamba

 QB- Keith Price

 

 Retire:

 MLB- Shae Emry

 

 Cut:

 DE- John Chick (Hamilton)

 WR- Weston Dressler (Winnipeg)

 RB- Anthony Allen

 LB- Jake Doughty

 P- Ray Early

 RB- Chad Spann

 SB- Scott McHenry

 SB- Jamel Richardson

 WR- Taj Smith

 QB- Blake Sims

 S- Tyrone Brackenridge

 DB- Weldon Brown

 DB- Marshay Green

 S- Keenan MacDougall

 RT- Jermarcus Hardrick

 DB- Hugo Lopez

 DB- Terrell Maze

 DB- Junior Mertile

 DB- Tristian Jackson

 DB- Alex Suber

 DE- Cameron Sheffield

 DT- Derek Walker

 DT- Ryan Wellman

 LB- Macho Harris (Winnipeg)

 LB- Nathan Kanya

 LB- Kyle Norris

 K- Paul McCallum

That is some change. I apologize if I have missed someone, but I am pretty sure the depth chart is up to date and I placed the new signings at the bottom of the charts because it isn’t training camp yet. By my count the Riders are at 77 players and their offseason limit is 75, so I would expect to see some cuts coming, but maybe those will wait until training camp is some guys can’t make the medical clearance.

But this gives you a look at how massive the changes are, and likely will continue to be. I think the big winners will be the Rider jersey number people who will have a whack of new names and numbers to put on the new jerseys this year. As long as those jerseys don’t suck.

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