A complete look at all the remaining CFL free agents

As free agency approached, 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Drew Edwards, and John Hodge ranked every player available by position. Less than a week after the market opened, many of the big names are gone but there’s plenty of experience – and talent – still available. Here’s every player who remains.


Drew Tate

1. Drew Tate, OTT
Age: 33
Starts in 2017: 1 (18GP)
Key stats: 338 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT.
Notes: Released on Monday, Tate jumps to the top of a thin free agent quarterback class.

2. Everett Golson, HAM
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: 25 yards on a perfect 4-for-4, 5 yards on one carry
Notes: Golson might have been the Ticats short-yardage guy had he not been injured in the pre-season. Just 25 and a Notre Dame alum, Golson will attract interest as a guy with some CFL potential.

3. Jacory Harris, MTL
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: 8 GPs.
Notes: Another lost season for Harris who has seen limited opportunities in five CFL seasons. Could be at the end of the road.


International receivers

1. Marquay McDaniel, CAL
Age: 33
Starts in 2017: 15
Key stats: 65 catches for 860 yards and four TDs
Notes: Reliable veteran receiver who was a salary cap casualty on Calgary.

2. Nick Moore, BC
Age: 31
Starts in 2017: 12
Key stats: 37 catches, 547 yards, 2 TDs
Notes: There was a time when Moore was one of the most sought-after CFL free agents, signing a big-money deal with Winnipeg in 2014. But injuries, age and underwhelming numbers have hurt his stock.

3. Jasper Collins, HAM
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 4
Key stats: 16 catches, 186 yards 1 TD
Notes: He has never been able to establish himself in three seasons with the Ticats with just 18 games played over that span. Not particularly big or fast but has some savvy to him.

4. Clarence Denmark, WIN
Age: 32
Starts in 2017: 18
Key stats: 58 catches, 608 yards, 7 TDs
Notes: He’s got better numbers than some of the other guys on this list and a 1,000-yard season on his resume (in 2014) but Denmark’s production tailed off with just five catches in his last four games. At 32, how much does he have left?


National receivers

Samuel Giguere

1. Sam Giguere, MTL
Age: 32
Starts in 2017: 11
Key stats: 11 catches, 107 yards,1 TD
Notes: A down year for a consistent performer – hardly surprising given Montreal’s offensive struggles.

2. Alex Carroll, MTL
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: Hasn’t played a game since 2015
An ACL injury could end Carroll’s career.


International running backs

1. Brandon Whitaker, TOR
Age: 32
Starts in 2017: 9 GPs, 8 starts
Key stats: 81 carries for 357 yards, 30 catches for 226 yards.
Notes: Whitaker’s enjoyed a productive CFL career, but the market for 32-year-old international ball carriers is limited. The four-time East Division all-star appeared in just nine games last season.

2. Shakir Bell, SSK
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: 15 GPs in two seasons in Edmonton, 181 carries for 1,058 yards,
Notes: His career per-carry average is 5.8 yards which should be enticing for somebody to take a chance on.

3. Kendial Lawrence, EDM
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 1
Key stats: Three CFL teams in six seasons, 2 career punt return touchdowns
Notes: Lawrence has been a difference-maker in the past, but will need to bounce back from a disastrous 2017 season in a big way. Cut by the Esks out of training camp, the return specialist was brought back following John White’s ACL tear to appear in just two games before suffering his own season-ending injury.


National running backs

1. Anthony Woodson, CAL

Age: 30
Starts in 2017: 3GP, 0 stars
Key stats: Six carries for 18 yards, 58 career games played in six CFL seasons.
Notes: The little-used tailback is now 30 and, as a player who rarely sees time on special teams, has limited value to teams looking to start an American tailback. This may be the end of the line for the former Dino.


National fullbacks

1. Carl-Olivier Prime, HAM
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 18GPs, 0 starts
Key stats: 2 catches in 2017, seven in his career. 6 carries in five seasons.
Notes: Though hardly an offensive juggernaut, Prime is a physical, durable – he hasn’t missed a game in four years – and intelligent player.

2. Christophe Normand, WIN
Age: 26
Starts in 2017:
Key stats: 2 carries, 21 yards, 7 catches for 33 yards in 2017.
Notes: Normand has special athleticism for a big man, possessing 4.75 speed and solid quickness at 6’2, 240 pounds. His opportunities in Winnipeg have been limited due to the presence of Andrew Harris, but there’s no doubt the Laval product can’t flourish in a larger role with another team.

3. Levi Steinhauer, EDM
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 13 GP, 0 Starts
Key stats: 10 special teams tackles
Notes: The oft-injured Steinhauer brings versatility as a blocker, special teamer, and long snapper. The Saskatchewan product has yet to play a full eighteen-game season since beginning his CFL career in 2012.

4. John Delahunt, EDM
Age: 30
Starts in 2017: 1 GP
Key stats: Caught 26 passes in 27 games with Hamilton in 2013 and 2014.
Notes: Returned to the CFL in 2017 after a two-year absence.

5. Nathan O’Halloran, MTL
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 5 GP, 0 Starts
Key stats: 1 catch, 2 special teams tackles
Notes: Originally a seventh-round selection by B.C. in 2016.


International offensive linemen

1. Bruce Campbell, SSK
Age: 29
Starts in 2017 (career): 12 (27)
Notes: Campbell came out of retirement in 2017 and immediately solidified the left tackle position in Riderville. Ultra-athletic and just 29, Campbell is the best plug-and-play offensive lineman available league-wide.

2. Brian Simmons, MTL
Age: 32
Starts in 2017 (career): 18 (89)
Notes: Simmons enjoyed one of his best pro seasons 2017, appearing in all eighteen regular season games for just the second time in his career. The only thing holding Simmons back is age — he’ll turn 33 in March.

3. Jake Silas, OTT
Age: 26
Starts in 2017 (career): 17 (17)
Notes: Primarily a right tackle, Silas is worth a look for a team looking to build American depth going into training camp.

4. Vincent Brown MTL
Age: 26
Starts in 2017 (career): 1 (1)
Notes: Brown has appeared in two career CFL games.


National offensive lineman

Danny Groulx

1. Danny Groulx, EDM
Age: 27
Starts in 2017 (career): 6 (12)
Notes: Cut by the Eskimos last month, Groulx will be seen as a solid depth piece (and perhaps even a starter) by a hog-needy club. Almost 28, Groulx has low mileage and great size.

2. Matthew Albright, OTT
Age: 26
Starts in 2017 (career): 3 (12)
Notes: A career back-up, Albright has been steady whenever called upon through five season between B.C. and Ottawa. A team may see this 26-year-old as a player ready for an expanded role.

3. Kirby Fabien, BC
Age: 27
Starts in 2017 (career): 18 (64)
Notes: Fabien has never fully bounced back from the devastating knee injury he suffered in his rookie season. A change of scenery would benefit this former first-round pick who is still just 27.

4. Simeon Rottier, EDM
Age: 34
Starts in 2017 (career): 4 (107)
Notes: The first overall pick of the 2009 CFL draft has enjoyed a great career; the question is whether or not he has anything left in the tank. Now 34, Rottier is coming off an injury-plagued season with an Eskimo team that is unlikely to retain this local product.

5. Cameron Thorn, CAL
Age: 27
Starts in 2017 (career): 0 (4)
Notes: Capable of playing both centre and guard, Thorn is a great option to fill the sixth offensive lineman spot with a depth-needy team.

6. Andrew Jones, BC
Age: 35
Starts in 2017 (career): 0 (31)
Notes: B.C. brought Jones out of retirement last season out of desperation and saw him dress for eight games. Now 35, this is likely the end of the road for the 2015 Grey Cup champ.

7. Jaskaran Dhillon, BC
Age: 28
Starts in 2017 (career): 0 (0)
Notes: Dhillon has appeared in just nine career games and turns 29 next month. He may not earn another CFL contract.


National defensive lineman

Arnaud Gascon-Nadon

1. Arnaud Gascon-Nadon, OTT
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 11
Key stats: eight tackles, three sacks
Notes: His play tailed off last season which will cost him money in free agency, but he has starting experience and potential to reaffirm that role if given the proper opportunity.

2. Eddie Steele, SSK
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 18
Key stats: 23 tackles, one sack
Notes: Heart and soul type of player can be valuable to a team if used in a proper role.

3. Jake Thomas, WIN
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 7
Key stats: 21 tackles, four sacks
Notes: You’ll always get a full effort from Thomas who plays above his athletic capabilities.

4. Michael Atkinson, HAM
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 1 (5 GP)
Key stats: two tackles
Notes: Athletic big-man has never been able to stay healthy on a consistent basis.

5. Don Oramasionwu, MTL
Age: 31
Starts in 2017: 6
Key stats: 14 tackles, one sack
Notes: Injuries have really held Oramasionwu back.

6. Evan Gill, HAM
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0 (1 GP)
Key stats: five games played in two seasons
Notes: A torn Achilles last August just the latest injury for this former first-round draft pick.


International defensive lineman

Phillip Hunt

1. Phillip Hunt, EDM
Age: 32
Starts in 2017: 6
Key stats: three tackles, one sack
Notes: The Eskimos released Hunt early and he hasn’t signed yet, which isn’t a positive development for the ageing defender.

2. Bryant Turner, BC
Age: 30
Starts in 2017: 9
Key stats: seven tackles, one sack
Notes: Turner’s games played and production were both career lows in 2017. Not ideal timing, but there could be a team who wants to see if any of that all-star ability from 2012 is left.

3. Zach Minter, SSK
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 6
Key stats: seven tackles, one sack
Notes: Minter has flashed pass rush ability from the inside but he needs to find a more permanent home, three CFL teams in three seasons.

4. Kashawn Fraser, CAL
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 2
Key stats: one tackle
Notes: Fraser suffered an ACL injury early last season that’s diminished his value.

5. Ivan McLennan, MTL
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 1 (11 GP)
Key stats: 17 tackles, one sack
Notes: Young player who can help on specials.


International Linebackers


1. Serderius Bryant, OTT
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 6 (18 GPs)
Key stats: 47 tackles, 9 special teams tackles
Notes: Undersized tackler who may be best-suited to a depth role.

2. Alex Hoffman-Ellis, EDM
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 2 (14 GP)
Key stats: 27 tackles, 10 special teams tackles
Notes: Great teammate with experience as both middle and weak-side linebacker. Solid depth piece.

3. Greg Jones, OTT
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 0 (1 GP)
Key stats: 47 GP in four CFL seasons
Notes: Had strong seasons with Toronto and Saskatchewan in 2015 and 2016, respectively, but had trouble finding work last year.

4. Maleki Harris, CAL
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 6
Key stats: 21 tackles, 2 special teams tackles, 1 INT
Notes: Depth piece who’s spent the past three seasons in Calgary. Could be ready for a larger role elsewhere.

5. Reggie Northrup, MTL
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 2 (4 GP)
Key stats: 22 tackles, 1 special teams tackle
Notes: Little-used depth piece in the La Belle Province.

6. Cameron Ontko, SSK
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0 (10 GPs)
Key stats: 10 special teams tackles
Notes: Career special teamer who’s spent time with Calgary, B.C., and Saskatchewan.


National Linebackers

Henoc Muamba.

1. Henoc Muamba, SSK
Age: 29
Starts in 2017 (career): 13 (50)
Key stats: 82 tackles, 11 special teams tackles, two interceptions in 2017
Notes: Muamba takes the top spot on the list after being released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday. A ratio-breaking linebacker, Muamba is a legitimate CFL starter who few expected to be available. He’ll command a pretty penny, however, as nationals of this calibre always do.

2. Fred Plesius, MTL
Age: 30
Starts in 2017: 0 (7 GP)
Key stats: 7 special teams tackles
Notes: Injury-plagued season in 2017, though typically among league leaders in special teams tackles.

3 Adrian Clarke, BC
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 0 (14 GP)
Key stats: 8 special teams tackles
Notes: Clarke has played 50 games over three seasons, registering 25 special teams tackles.


Strongside linebackers (SAM)

Jerrell Gavins

1. Jerrell Gavins, OTT
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 15
Key stats: 41 tackles, 1 INT
Notes: Season-ending ACL injury last October might give some teams pause, but Gavins can still ball.


Defensive backs (International)


Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.

1. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, TOR
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 11
Key stats: 30 tackles
Notes: Underrated player who has manned the boundary corner spot in Toronto without a lot of fanfare, but he’s legit

2. Brandon Stewart, MTL
Age: 31
Starts in 2017: 12
Key stats: 42 tackles and one interception for a touchdown
Notes: One of the few bright spots in a dark Alouettes 2017 season.

3. Josh Mitchell, TOR
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: 1 GP
Notes: Needs an opportunity to get on the field.

4. Anthony Jackson, BC
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 5
Key stats: 17 tackles and one interception
Notes: Six-foot-one players with Jackson’s athleticism are hard to find, but he’s had a difficult time being consistent.

Defensive backs (National)

1. Dan West, OTT
Age: 31
Starts in 2017: 0 (18 GPs)
Key stats: 13 special teams tackles
Notes: Trustworthy special teams player who can fill in at safety if needed.



1. Brett Maher, OTT
Age: 28
Stats: 41-of-50 field goals (82 per cent), 46.7-yard punt average
Notes: Maher played all 18 games for the Redblacks and was very reliable. He was the East all-star punter in 2017.

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 (1570 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.

21 Comments on A complete look at all the remaining CFL free agents

  1. Ottawa should have taken Everett Golson

  2. Rick cowan // February 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm //

    I think the Riders are trying to get get Bear Woods under contract he would help them a lot

    • I think Taylor Reed would be a better choice. Reed is younger with roughly the same level of production. He’s probably cheaper as well.

  3. Long Snappers ???

  4. For some of these guys, the sad truth is they’re at the end of the rope. Teams will start focusing more on the draft and signing potential new talent scouted from the U.S., and they’re into nickel & dime season now re: the SMS.

    We’ll see more signings no doubt (some of these guys can be impact players or hold untapped potential) but some of those will probably be late additions to training camp rosters.

  5. What’s going on with Eddie Steele?

  6. BigRedMachine // February 18, 2018 at 3:15 pm //

    What’s up with Grymes in Edmonton? Is he signed or still a FA?

    • Word I have heard here in Edmonton about Grymes is that he has agreed to sign in Edmonton if hie NFL pursuits do not pan out. He is not signed, yet according to eskimo fans I have talked to. Wold love to see him in BC. Thought that when I first saw in in Edmonton. We have left ourselves a bit of a hole in the secondary this past week and he would help fill it.

  7. I skimmed real fast but where is Dupuis

  8. Bruce Forsythe // February 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm //

    The TigerCats should blow their wad on Waud.

  9. Would love to see the fullback Normand in green and white. With Spencer Moore’s injury history he would be a great depth piece and special teamed. I agree that Taylor Reed would come cheaper than Bear Woods and I’m still holding out hope that Eddie Steele re signs here as well.

  10. I’d like to give a minimum contract plus performance bonuses to Atkinson or Gill. If either one of them could stay healthy they would be good depth behind Evans. Another player I’d like to see us bring in is Addison Richards. Maybe a year off and some good home cooking could help him stay healthy.

  11. Jason Gregor // February 18, 2018 at 7:17 pm //

    It will be curious to see which vets sign. Sunderland told me last week on air they expect to sign Rottier. They wanted to get free agency over with. Rottier doesn’t want to go anywhere else and the need O-line depth.

  12. Bruce Forsythe // February 19, 2018 at 7:18 am //

    Any news on the Manziel front ?!? I find the lack of coverage here to be woefully lacking.

  13. bromcbroface // February 19, 2018 at 8:16 am //


    Wasn’t it last year all the veterans were getting scooped up first?

  14. Eddie Steele would look good back in Edmonton

  15. my esks could use that campbell on o line and muamba as a linebacker

  16. Edward Leslie // February 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm //

    They forgot about Marcus Howard and Glenn Love, two pretty solid defensive players let go by Edmonton and Calgary respectively.
    Still some good talent left, but most of the remaining free agents won’t be signed, while a few may get signed during the season, after injuries start piling up. Drew Tate might need to be patient, especially since Montreal decided to re-sign the other Drew (Willy).

  17. Craig Gustafson // February 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm //

    Glen Love was released by Saskatchewan.

  18. James buck // February 20, 2018 at 2:40 am //

    Why would a team not sign Muamba? He’s the best linebacker in the cfl

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