Ticats sign veteran NFL linebacker Kavell Conner, three others

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed four players, including an NFL veteran with 46 starts to his credit.

Kavell Conner played 78 games at linebacker over six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers after being selected in the seventh round of 2010 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Baltimore Ravens in 2016 but was released last August. He has 328 defensive tackles and is also a solid special teams player.

According to sportrac.com, Conner has earned more than $3.8 million in his NFL career. Veteran players like Conner are due a higher minimum salary – in his case$775,000 USD – sometimes making it more difficult for them to be signed.

At 6-feet, 245 pounds, Conner will likely get a look as a middle linebacker or as a designated import who can back up starters Simoni Lawrence and Larry Dean while helping out on special teams.

The team also signed American defensive ends Tyriq McCord and Denzell Perine as well as national defensive back Tristan Doughlin.

McCord and Perine both spent time on the Ticats practice roster during the expanded period late last season and the team was impressed enough to being them back for a second look.

Doughlin went to training camp with the Montreal Alouettes last season before returning to the University of Guelph. A physical safety, he has played in 26 games and recorded 133 total tackles, 11 interceptions, 14 pass break ups and one quarterback sack in four seasons. Given the Ticats start a Canadian a safety, Doughlin provides yet more depth at the position while also contributing on special teams.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1397 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

13 Comments on Ticats sign veteran NFL linebacker Kavell Conner, three others

  1. stampland // March 7, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

    see riders ,you aren’t being targeted with fake and negative news stories.
    Or is the league now targeting BC too??

  2. stampland // March 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm //

    opps sorry last comment was supposed to be for a different story

  3. Sounds really encouraging and time to buy GC tickets!!

  4. Lindsay Wilcox // March 8, 2017 at 3:22 am //

    I see the 2 American DE competing for the roster spot and role of Drake Nevis. Signing of Conner a little more difficult to understand – he is going to be paid good $$$ for being a back-up and ST guy, UNLESS the Ticats will be playing a lot of 3-4 D. Doughlin will be back-up and ST, we lost several in FA this year.

    • Why are you thinking big $$?

      I am pretty sure the “due a higher minimum salary – in his case $775,000 USD” is NFL salary rules, which won’t apply in the CFL. Where there’s no NFL appetite for that kind of money, there’s no bargaining power for Conner.

      It seems similar to the Bills player that was on Hamilton’s rights list. When the NFL rules let him be a practice squad player for more $$$, he had no interest in the CFL. When the NFL rules said he could only stay in the NFL as a starter where no NFL team offered that role, he came to Hamilton for a ton less $$.

  5. Hope Conner can stop the run. I hate it when teams run all over the Cats.

  6. Steve Driver // March 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm //

    Hey yo, these signings look cool on paper and all, but who is going to kick for this squad ??? Maher falter badly down the stretch & cost the Tabbies some crucial wins. Hamilton tried this approach last year & it got them nothing but mediocrity. Time for a Stevewieser !!!

  7. @Lindsay W…. I like your idea of a 3-4 defence… the OL and QB wouldn’t know who or when the blitz was coming from… have to think it might be better at stopping the run too… can see the RB before an OL has his hands on you…

    Cheers… Snake

    • Steve Driver // March 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm //

      Hey yo, small Snake … what are you talking about homes ??? We are discussing the kicking game or lack thereof here … time for a Stevewieser !!!

  8. Big Gus // March 8, 2017 at 8:13 pm //

    Conner had a few decent seasons with the Colts. I honestly don’t recall watching him play after that. Provides depth behind Deane. Not sure he has the speed needed to fill in for the role of Lawrence. Most defences incorporate some form of a thirty defence. More and more CFL players are becoming hybrids. Defensive Ends are dropping off into zone coverages, DBs are interchangeable, Sam linebackers are essentially DBs and even interior linemen are doing more zone drops.

  9. Pussycats // March 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm //

    Finally, the possibility of some fresh blood on the D-line and line-backing crew! I was really getting worried that we were getting more of the ‘same old same old’ losers who couldn’t stop the run once again this season. Time will tell … We’ll have a good idea of what we’ve got by the end of August.

  10. You have my full support because you above all know what your talking about.

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