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
DE- Dylan Ainsworth
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)
*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)
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
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
MLB- Shae Emry
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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