Home sport The top 25 free agents in the CFL right now

The top 25 free agents in the CFL right now

by admin

Photo: Larry MacDougall/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

2023 has officially arrived and there are only six weeks left until the start of the CFL Free Agency. Over 200 players are currently set to enter the market, including a number of the best players who could reshape the league landscape.

Below is a list of the 25 best CFL suspended free agents, as generated by a survey. 3ownNation contributors. An updated version of this roster will be released in February as the offseason develops and players decide whether or not to return to their current team.

Please note that “N” refers to domestic (ie Canadian) players and “A” refers to American players.

Photo: Bob Buttrim/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

25) QB Cody Fajardo, Saskatchewan Roughriders (A)

Once Riderville’s most popular man, the veteran position is suspended for the end of 2022 as Saskatchewan’s season continues to balance out. Although it was down last season, Fajardo’s passer rating was still better than that of Beau Levi Mitchell, Jeremiah Massoli, Vernon Adams Jr., MacLeod Bethel-Thompson, and Dean Evans.

24) DB Cameron Kelly Hamilton Tiger-Cats (A)

The 26-year-old has started 32 consecutive games for the Techets as a powerhouse player since his rookie season in 2021, recording 87 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks. He’s young, athletic and seems to have a knack for making big plays at key times.

23) OL Derek Dennis, Calgary Stampeders (A)

The 34-year-old played well in his first season in the CFL after a two-year hiatus, blocking Cowtown left tackle before suffering a fractured fibula. Despite his age and injury, the four-time Western Division star should still garner interest if he makes it to the open market.

22) DL Jackson Jeffcoat, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (F).

The 32-year-old is coming off a relatively uneventful season but remains one of the most feared passing players in the league. He had 30 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 64 career games in Winnipeg and was named a 2021 CFL All-Star.

21) LB Darnell Sankey, Saskatchewan Rough (F)

The six-foot-two, 245-pound defenseman was a bright spot for Ridderville last season, totaling 122 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. Sankey is a very capable defender and arguably the best striker in the league.

20) OL Stanley Bryant, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (A)

The future Hall of Fame inductee won the first ballot for a record fourth Offensive Personality Award last year, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that he will turn 37 next season. The franchise’s left tackles are still valuable, though it’s clear that Bryant is fast approaching the end of his playing career.

19) DB Gary Peters DB Gary Peters (Black)

The six-year veteran was named a CFL All-Star for the first time last season after posting a total of 47 tackles and five interceptions in 18 starts as a cornerback. Peters has been one of the strongest players in the league since joining the Lions in 2018 after never missing a game due to injury.

18) Rick Stephen Dunbar Jr. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (F)

The six-foot-three, 203-pound target is off of a stellar year in which he caught 72 passes for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Dunbar was a model for consistency in all 17 games of last season, finishing each game with at least 30 yards in the air.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

17) DB Addarius Beckett, Montreal Alouettes (A)

The 26-year-old is arguably the strongest young linebacker in the CFL, coming off a year he had 80 total tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. Pickett brings physical fitness and athleticism to a defensive role that requires both.

16) Rick Nick Demsky, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (North).

The Winnipeg native was one of the most dangerous red zone threats in the league last season, having had at least one assist in six straight games in the middle of the year. Demski is also one of the most versatile players in the league as he blocks well and has proven to be an effective ball carrier out of the field.

15) QB McLeod Bethel Thompson, Toronto Argonauts (A).

The 34-year-old led the CFL in touchdown passes and passing yards, but he doesn’t seem to command the respect of a true #1 quarterback. There are rumors that Bethel-Thompson could retire in the off-season, but if he plays in 2023, A number of teams can use the services of an experienced passer.

14) DL Shawn Lemon, Calgary Stampeders (A).

The veteran pass forward was named Western Division Defensive Player of the Year after he had 29 tackles, 14 sacks and five forced fumbles last season. Lemon simply refuses to slow down at 34, making him an attractive option for teams looking to generate more rim pressure in 2023.

13) OL Zach Williams, Calgary Stampeders (N).

Hot young talents don’t usually come out in free agency, and that’s exactly what makes Williams so attractive. The 25-year-old started every game at left guard last year as part of an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the league and helped Calgary lead the CFL in yards and yards on the field per attempt.

Photo: Bob Buttrim/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

12) Rick Corley Gittens Jr. Toronto Argonauts (North).

The Ottawa native led the CFL in receptions for Canadian players last season, catching 81 receptions for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns in 18 games as a wide receiver and running back. The former third baseman has been named an East Division All-Star in back-to-back seasons, but he’s still a youngster with more untapped potential.

11) LB Jameer Thurman, Calgary Stampeders (F).

The 27-year-old seems to have flown under the radar throughout his career but remains one of the most consistent defenders in the league. He made 74 tackles in 2022, along with three interceptions and two forced fumbles, helping lead a defense that finished third in offensive points allowed and fourth in net offense allowed.

10) DL Anthony Lanier II, Saskatchewan Roughriders (F)

That might sound pretty high for a player who’s only played 21 CFL games, but the 29-year-old was a force to be reckoned with last season. The six-foot-six, 285-pound fullback had 19 tackles, eight sacks and two forced defensive tackles before suffering a season-ending concussion, after which Saskatchewan’s pass rush disappeared.

9) DL Lorenzo Mauldin IV, Ottawa Redblacks (A)

The 30-year-old exploded to 43 tackles, 17 sacks and two forced fumbles last year, setting career highs and winning the CFL Defensive Player of the Year. Mauldin appeared ready to enter the free market as he told the media during “Gray Cup” week that he plans to test for free agency.

Photo: Larry MacDougall/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

8) Judge LB Cameron, Calgary Stampeders (IN).

The former Western Division Most Valuable Canadian enjoyed a rebounding season in Cowtown, racking up 80 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 17 games. Judge is one of the most versatile and versatile quarterbacks in the league and he’s still only 28 years old.

7) Rick Kenny Lawler, Edmonton Elks (female).

The former CFL All-Star signed a huge contract with the Edmonton Elks last season and mostly rose to the occasion, making 58 catches for 894 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games despite a sizable turnover. Although it’s unlikely to match the $300,000 he earned last season, Lawler is still the league’s leading scorer.

6) LB Wynton McMannis, Toronto Argonauts (A).

The 28-year-old was dominant last season and could have won Defensive Player of the Year if he hadn’t torn his biceps at the end of the year. He had 95 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble against a weak lateral linebacker last season, which earned him a CFL All-Star selection despite the injury.

5) QB Trevor Harris, Montreal Alouettes (A)

The veteran passer entered last season as a backup but quickly landed the starting role, throwing for 4,157 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and going 8-7 as a starter. Harris turns 37 in May, but has a relatively low mileage for his age and believes he still has plenty of good football ahead of him.

4) DL Folarin Orimolade, Calgary Stampeders (F)

The fourth-year fullback had a respectable streak last season — he had 37 tackles, six sacks, one interception and a forced fumble — but that’s not why he’s on this list. Orimolade ultimately avoided the error of injury long enough to show his potential as an elite rusher who helps improve those around him, making him an intriguing potential free agent.

Photo: Larry MacDougall/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

3) DL Jake Siresna, Edmonton Elks (female)

The 28-year-old was a member of the devastating crew last season, recording 31 tackles, 10 sacks and four forced fumbles in just 12 games. Sirisena was named a CFL All-Star for the first time in 2022, and at 28, he should have several elite seasons ahead of him.

2) Rick Eugene Lewis, Montreal Alouettes (F)

The Oklahoma product had a career year in 2022, hauling in 91 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns in 17 games. Lewis has as many reel catches as any CFL receiver, and he should prepare the market for receivers league-wide when he signs his next contract, whether with Montreal or elsewhere.

1) QB Bo Levi Mitchell, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (F)

The 32-year-old was transferred to Hamilton in mid-November, and he plans to move to free agency before committing to a new team. The future Hall of Fame passer hasn’t posted elite numbers since being named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2018, but he appears to have fully recovered from the shoulder injury that tormented him during his later years in Calgary.

Related News

Leave a Comment