CFL opens first ever negotiation period: who should the Ottawa Redblacks sign in free agency?

Last off-season, the CFL and CFLPA came together on a new CBA, and in the new CBA, it was announced that prior to CFL free agency there will be a window where teams can legally negotiate with pending free agents. Today marks the first day of the time period in which the negotiations will run, the last day of the negotiating period will be next Sunday, February 9th. The window given will be one week long and between the negotiation window and free agency, teams will have an opportunity to see the offers that their players have received and will be given 48 hours to match those offers.

Today marks the first day of this window, and let’s look in on the pending free agents the Ottawa Redblacks should target in free agency.

Abdul Kanneh

The majority of you remember Kanneh from his Grey Cup saving tackle for us in 2016, but thats not the only reason why the Redblacks should bring him back. Sitting at 29 years old, Kanneh has 6 years of CFL experience and is still young enough to play another 6 if he’s healthy enough.

In the 6 years, he found him self playing on both the Ottawa Redblacks, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and most recently the Toronto Argonauts. Although he’s been able to find himself on rosters consistently, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy for a full season. Before the 2019 season, Kanneh’s last full season came in 2016 when he played in the Grey Cup with Ottawa. He struggled to play full seaons in both Hamilton and Toronto, but in 2019 Abdul Kanneh was fortunate to suit up in 16 games and added to his career totals.

The 26 year old has found himself on the field for 74 career games where he has made 252 tackles, 7 quarterback sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 14 interceptions. Among his totals, his 2015 season in Ottawa is his career best with 6 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles.

Not only does Kanneh have a good background in the CFL, but the Redblacks might be in need of him this season. Just last week, the Ottawa Redblacks cornerback Jonathan Rose had spinal surgery and with him potentially out for the 2020 season, Kanneh could be a great replacement on a one-year deal .

Darvin Adams

This off-season, the Redblacks have been very active towards getting a few players from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After getting Winnipeg’s offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice as our head-coach he’s been able to bring in a few former Blue Bombers by the names of Kevin Anderson (quarterback), Timothy Flanders (Running back), Dale Warren (linebacker), and Charlie Eger (Running Backs coach).

LaPolice has been able to bring a bit of Winnipeg out east with him, and he should be able to continue to do that as free agency starts up February 11th. Opening up free agency, the Redblacks will be able to sign pending free agent Darvin Adams. Adams has been the number one receiver in Winnipeg for the majority of his career, but last season the Blue Bombers receiving core proved that they can win without him. Prior to the 2019 season, Adams hadn’t had many injury problems, putting the uniform on for 80 career games between both the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Among the 80 games played, Adams has put himself in CFL record books with 2, 1,000 yard seasons alongside 36 career touchdowns on 317 receptions.

The 30 year old receiver would fit into the Ottawa Redblacks offense because he would be playing under Paul LaPolice once again. If the Redblacks were to sign Adams, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring back RJ Harris or Dominique Rhymes to make plays with Adams.

Solomon Elimimian

If you’re a CFL fan, chances are you know Solomon Elimimian. Elimimian has been in the CFL for the past 10 seasons, and he’s been able to make a mark on the CFL record books. The 33 year old linebacker has seen himself suit up for 133 games inside the 10 season career and within the long career he’s been able to make 869 tackles, 33 sacks, 9 forced fumbles and 8 interceptions.

Solomon Elimimian has definitely put together a solid career thus far, and if he is signed to the Ottawa Redblacks he would be a solid leader on the defense for Avery Williams and the young defense in Ottawa.

Along with the veteran role Elimimian would play in Ottawa, he would also have the opportunity to re-unite with the Ottawa Redblacks defensive coordinator Mike Benevides. Benevides was his defensive coordinator and head coach from 2010-2014.

Alex Bazzie

Alex Bazzie is a 29 year old linebacker/defensive lineman in the CFL, who’s been able to split up his career between the BC Lions and Edmonton Eskimos and in the time with both teams he was able to play under Mike Benevides. Mike Benevides was Bazzie’s head coach in BC and his defensive coordinator in Edmonton, and if he is signed by Ottawa, he would be back to play with Benevides.

Among the two stints he’s had in the CFL, Bazzie has been making a name for himself in the league and being an absolute sack machine on all of the defenses he’s been on. In the 6 years he has in the CFL he has over 150 total tackles, 42 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. The 6 years behind him makes his presence felt as a veteran play maker, and if he’s signed by the Ottawa Redblacks he could make plays instantly on the Redblacks defense.

Juwan Brescacin

Juwan Brescacin would be a great pickup for the Ottawa Redblacks this year for free agency. The Canadian receiver has been in the CFL for 4 seasons now, where he’s been able to play in 3 Grey Cups, winning one over Ottawa in 2018 along with losing the first two against the Redblacks and Argos.

In his 4 seasons in Calgary, Brescacin has struggled to be able to remain healthy for a full season, although when he was able to play a full 18 game season in 2018, Juwan Brescacin was a huge piece to the Calgary offensive system racking up over 567 yards and 3 touchdowns. Those numbers in ’18 add to his career totals of 69 receptions, for 1,046 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Brescacin, standing at 6’3 would be a big piece to the offensive puzzle here in Ottawa, where he’d also have the chance to re-united with his quarterback Nick Arbuckle. The two played with eachother in both 2018 and 2019 in Calgary and were able to connect on multiple big gains in the games they played together and if Brescacin is brought to Ottawa, they would be able to connect on many more.

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