Because the low season will get shifting, the quarterback carousel has but to budge. It’s an eerie silence forward of what’s anticipated to be a turbulent interval, with 14 quarterbacks — together with a number of potential starters — scheduled without spending a dime company on Feb. 12.
By this time final yr, veteran Zach Collaros and highly-touted prospect James Franklin had already been traded, whereas Trevor Harris, Jeremiah Masoli and Brandon Bridge signed contract extensions to stay with their golf equipment. Twelve months later it’s a unique story, with reigning Most Excellent Participant Bo Levi Mitchell and 2018 main passer Mike Reilly amongst a number of the huge names probably in play.
Let’s take a better take a look at probably the most talked about storylines of the low season to date.
Pending 2019 Free Agent Quarterbacks
|NAME||TEAM||AGE||CFL YRS||ATTEMPTS||TD:INT||STARTS (’18)|
|RAY, Ricky||TOR||39||16||7,301||324:177||219 (2)|
|GLENN, Kevin||EDM||39||18||6,434||294:207||208 (zero)|
|REILLY, Mike||EDM||34||eight||Three,271||148:84||97 (18)|
|MITCHELL, Bo Levi||CGY||28||7||2,865||150:59||86 (18)|
|LULAY, Travis||BC||35||10||2,613||127:75||81 (12)|
|HARRIS, Trevor||OTT||32||7||2,149||104:46||59 (17)|
|COLLAROS, Zach||SSK||30||7||2,076||92:51||65 (14)|
|JENNINGS, Jonathon||BC||26||four||1,474||66:51||44 (6)|
|WILLY, Drew||MTL||32||7||1,243||43:32||42 (four)|
|BRIDGE, Brandon||SSK||26||four||322||13:eight||6 (four)|
|DAVIS, Dominique||OTT||29||four||93||Three:1||2 (1)|
All found out?
Let’s begin with what we all know. Winnipeg, Hamilton, Montreal and Toronto seem to have issues found out behind centre, so don’t anticipate any of those 4 groups to make a transfer. In fact, that is the CFL, the place something is feasible and nothing ought to come as a shock.
Within the Manitoba capital, the Blue Bombers are absolutely dedicated to Matt Nichols. The 31-year-old has gotten the Bombers to the playoffs in three straight seasons, final yr reaching a division ultimate for the primary time since 2011. With Calgary and Edmonton dealing with vital modifications, the Bombers ought to see stability as their pal in 2019, with an opportunity to take the subsequent step and win highly-competitive West Division.
Head east and it’s nearly as straightforward to foretell who will begin in 2019. Jeremiah Masoli led the CFL’s most prolific offence final season, his first as a full-time starter, and can be again with the Ticats to attempt to replicate the current success loved beneath offensive coordinator June Jones. Masoli was the East Division MOP final season and has confirmed to be some of the electrifying gamers within the league.
With Ricky Ray pondering retirement, the Argos will probably have James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson compete for the beginning job come coaching camp — although GM Jim Popp gained’t depart any stones unturned with the QB market that’s about to open up. It’s Franklin’s job to lose after incomes prime prospect standing in his time with the Edmonton Eskimos, however each quarterbacks offered at the least a baseline after getting some invaluable expertise all through 2018.
The Alouettes’ beginning quarterback job is way from settled, however one they’ll in all probability fill internally. Johnny Manziel will enter his first full season within the CFL and shall be given each alternative to succeed — however not with out competitors from Jeff Mathews, Antonio Pipkin, Matthew Shiltz and Vernon Adams. It’s a crowded quarterback room in Montreal.
Lastly, don’t anticipate Trevor Harris to maneuver out of the nation’s capital this low season. Harris is a dream match for Jaime Elizondo’s offence, and vice-versa, and it’s exhausting to think about the 2 sides going past Feb. 12 with no new deal. It’s a matter of when, not if, for Harris and the REDBLACKS.
If we assume Harris returns to Ottawa, there are 4 groups getting into the low season which you could anticipate to be aggressive on the quarterback place: BC, Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatchewan. Pending free brokers Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell are the dominoes that would set every part off, as Mitchell is rumoured to be NFL-bound whereas Reilly might check the market.
The BC Lions are a projected touchdown spot for Reilly, who’s been linked to the place his profession started in 2011 as a backup to Travis Lulay. Signing with the Lions would give Reilly 9 common season video games within the pleasant indoor confines of BC Place, whereas additionally shifting him nearer to his residence state of Washington. Along with enjoying for an lively younger teaching employees led by DeVone Claybrooks, Reilly would even be reunited together with his former GM in Ed Hervey.
Regardless of the case, the Lions will probably have a brand new beginning quarterback in 2019. Jonathon Jennings has reportedly advised the workforce he’ll check free company, whereas Travis Lulay is seen as extra of a short-term choice or potential backup at age 35. Cody Fajardo is a free agent, whereas sophomore Ricky Lloyd might have a brilliant future however wants extra time to groom.
In Edmonton, it might look like Reilly’s departure is a foregone conclusion. Not so quick. Reilly has constructed shut ties to the Edmonton group, whereas his most efficient seasons have come underneath Head Coach Jason Maas. He’s additionally labored with recently-promoted offensive coordinator Jordan Maksymic since 2016. On the finish of the day, packing up and leaving Edmonton won’t be a easy determination for Reilly after six seasons in Inexperienced and Gold.
If Reilly does depart, anticipate the Eskimos to search for a veteran to hold them by means of 2019 versus filling the place internally. Zach Kline and Danny O’Brien are developmental quarterbacks however don’t have sufficient expertise. Pending free agent Kevin Glenn can be a strong stop-gap, whereas Jonathon Jennings and Dominique Davis are longer-term choices with some CFL expertise that would thrive if given the chance.
It’s exhausting to check Bo Levi Mitchell enjoying anyplace within the CFL outdoors of Calgary — however the specter of the NFL looms giant. The Stamps’ pivot and reigning MOP has gotten loads of appears down south, however might take his time making a choice. Mitchell will probably solely head south if he can get a professional alternative, versus simply being an arm in coaching camp. And he’s earned the correct to be choosy. If he doesn’t get what he needs, a return to Calgary is all however assured.
Mitchell’s potential exit from the CFL would have been an amazing alternative for Canadian quarterback Andrew Buckley, however the Calgary product retired all of the sudden final low season. The Stamps say they like Nick Arbuckle and Montell Cozart, however have admitted they might search for some expertise ought to Mitchell depart — somebody who might bridge the hole whereas creating a future starter. Kevin Glenn or Travis Lulay would make sense right here together with Zach Collaros.
The most important wildcard within the QB carousel might be the Riders. Chris Jones has had a brand new starter each season in Riderville, a development anticipated to proceed in 2019 after Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge achieved combined outcomes final season. With one of many CFL’s most dominant defences, the Riders ought to cease at nothing to discover a particular answer behind centre. It’s value noting that Jones gained a Gray Cup with Mike Reilly in 2015, whereas Jonathon Jennings has additionally been talked about.
This yr’s crop of free agent quarterbacks is probably the most intriguing but. It presents one thing for everybody, from bonafide stars in Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell to the younger and unproven like Jonathon Jennings and Dominique Davis.
After going staff by workforce, let’s check out the 14 quarterbacks and their attainable roles/touchdown spots for 2019:
The bonafide stars
When was the final time a celebrity quarterback examined free company on the peak of his recreation? Gamers like Mike Reilly don’t come obtainable typically, however there’s a authentic sense the 2017 Most Excellent Participant will discover out what the open market has to supply. Edmonton, BC and Saskatchewan are the likeliest touchdown spots, however nothing ought to be dominated out.
Prime Locations: Edmonton, BC, Saskatchewan
Bo Levi Mitchell
The NFL has come calling for Bo Levi Mitchell, which might add one other wrinkle to free company come February because the Stamps will pursue a veteran quarterback ought to Mitchell depart. If the two-time MOP doesn’t settle for an NFL contract, Calgary will probably be residence in 2019.
Prime Locations: NFL, Calgary
Ottawa is the best match for Trevor Harris, who’s surprisingly but to signal a contract extension after carrying his staff to a Gray Cup final November. Don’t anticipate Harris to be obtainable come February, but when he’s, groups can be lined up for the 32-year-old who’s coming off one of the best season of his profession.
Prime Locations: Ottawa
The veteran stop-gaps
Seven years after the commerce, Ricky Ray doubtless retires a Toronto Argonaut. In a much less doubtless state of affairs, maybe Ray returns to Edmonton to start his transition to teaching together with former teammate Jason Maas, enjoying another yr the place he spent 9 seasons of his profession. Looks like a heat, fuzzy ending.
Prime Locations: Retirement, Toronto, Edmonton
It looks like eternally since Kevin Glenn led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the brink of a Gray Cup. That was only a yr in the past, as Glenn put up a few of the greatest numbers of his profession in 2017 en path to an Japanese Ultimate look. He didn’t take a snap final season, however the 39-year-old ought to have one thing within the tank if referred to as upon.
Prime Locations: Edmonton, Calgary
He is probably not a long-term reply, however Travis Lulay shall be coveted if he hits the open market. The 35-year-old was comparatively wholesome all through 2018, serving to the Lions overcome a Three-6 begin en path to the post-season. The 10-year veteran has gained a Gray Cup and performed at an MOP degree on this league earlier than, and he confirmed final season he can nonetheless get it executed.
Prime Locations: BC, Saskatchewan, Calgary
There’s no telling what the Riders may need completed had Zach Collaros not been injured on the finish of final season. It wasn’t all the time fairly, however the seven-year veteran compiled a profitable report in 2018, serving to Saskatchewan end second within the West and emerge as a reputable Gray Cup contender.
Prime Locations: Saskatchewan, Calgary
Drew Willy’s time as a starter could also be up, however there must be a marketplace for a quarterback with over 1,200 profession passing makes an attempt who’s simply 32 years previous. Search for him to catch on as a backup, with an outdoor probability to start out on a quarterback-needy workforce.
Prime Locations: Edmonton, Calgary
Younger and promising?
Bo Levi Mitchell probably heading south provides yet one more emptiness at quarterback within the CFL. Jonathon Jennings hasn’t had a lot success the final two years, however groups ought to nonetheless see a 26-year-old who threw 42 touchdowns and averaged 9.four yards per try his first two seasons within the league. The Riders, Esks and Stamps might all want a brand new beginning QB, however Toronto and Montreal could possibly be two groups quietly desirous about his providers.
Prime Locations: Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Calgary
Regardless of making 4 of his six profession begins final season, progress appeared to stall for 26-year-old Canadian Brandon Bridge. The potential is there, however the Mississauga, Ont. native might should proceed biding his time whereas hoping the correct alternative comes alongside. Will that be in Saskatchewan or some place else?
Prime Locations: Saskatchewan
One of the intriguing prospects on the record, Dominique Davis might quietly be in demand come free company. The 29-year-old has spent 4 years creating with Winnipeg and Ottawa, final season backing up Trevor Harris within the nation’s capital. It’s just about now or by no means for Davis to turn out to be a beginning CFL quarterback.
Prime Locations: BC, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan
After three seasons within the CFL, Cody Fajardo has carved out his area of interest as a short-yardage specialist. Is there upside for extra? Probably, nevertheless it’s exhausting to see him competing for a beginning job in 2019. Both approach, Fajardo’s athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect.
Prime Locations: BC, Saskatchewan, Edmonton
By way of 5 seasons within the league with Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton, 30-year-old Bryant Moniz has earned the journeyman designation. A return to Hamilton appears possible in 2019, the place he’s acquainted with June Jones and the Ticats’ system.
Prime Locations: Hamilton
Regardless of not throwing a move in a CFL common season recreation, Dakota Prukop stays a prospect of curiosity for the Toronto Argonauts. Prukop can even play particular groups and may make performs together with his arm and his legs.
Prime Locations: Toronto
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