TORONTO — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers got the transaction ball rolling on Wednesday morning, inking OL Jermarcus Hardrick to a contract to keep him in Winnipeg through 2021.
The defending Grey Cup champs were followed by their rivals one province to the west, with Edmonton and BC and Calgary following suit and the Ticats keeping special teams guru Jeff Reinebold on staff.
Here’s a roundup of who’s staying where and some new faces to the CFL.
Riders sign Mason Fine to three-year deal
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American quarterback Mason Fine to a three-year contract.
Fine (five-foot-11, 190 pounds) joins the Riders after a stellar collegiate career at North Texas University that has him sitting 28th all-time in passing yards in college football history and saw him shatter his school’s records in at least seven categories.
The 23-year-old started nine games as a true freshman in 2016 and never looked back, playing in 49 career games for the Mean Green. Over his four seasons, he completed 1,039 passes for 12,505 yards, 93 touchdowns and just 39 interceptions while rushing for an additional seven majors. He left North Texas as the school’s all-time leading passer (12,505 yards), first in passing touchdowns (93), first in passer efficiency (140.68), first in touchdowns (100), the record-holder in career completions (1,039) and career pass attempts (1,655) and with the most 300-yard passing games in school history (18).
Fine was twice awarded the CUSA Offensive Player of the Year (2017, 2018), twice named first-team All-CUSA (2017, 2018), and in his senior year he was named the top college quarterback in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, while also earning second-team All-CUSA honours. In addition, for his strong showing as a freshman QB, the Oklahoma native was named to the All-CUSA Freshman team in 2016.
Edmonton extends five, signs three
The Edmonton Football Team announced it has extended the contracts of five players: Americans Tommie Draheim (OL); Eric Lofton (OL); Trumaine Washington (DB) and Terry Williams (RB) and National OL Jean-Simon Roy.
The club also added RB Walter Fletcher, DB Robert Priester and DE Tevaughn Grant.
Draheim is a four-year CFL veteran having spent the prior two seasons in Edmonton. The Kennewick, Washington product has started 14 games for the EE Football Team, split between both the left and right tackle positions.
Lofton spent parts of three seasons in the CFL, appearing in six games split between the EE Football Team and Ottawa REDBLACKS. Prior to his time in the CFL, Lofton played at the University of Temple where he was named a First-Team All Conference, American Athletic Conference player in 2015.
Priester spent the 2018 season on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice roster and the 2019 season on the EE Football Team practice roster. In 2020, Priester started five games for the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL, recording seven tackles, one sack, and one interception.
Roy was a second-round (14th overall) pick in the 2017 CFL Draft by the EE Football Team. Roy spent the 2019 season with the BC Lions and was reacquired as a free-agent by the EE Football Team in February 2020.
Washington was originally signed by the EE Football Team during 2020 free-agency and has yet to appear in a game for the club. In two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts, the 25-year-old played in 25 games, accumulating 56 tackles, five interceptions, one forced fumble.
Williams spent his first three seasons in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders prior to being signed as a free-agent by the EE Football Team in February 2020. In his three seasons, Williams has scored eight touchdowns (five rushing and three on punt returns). Williams set a Grey Cup record at the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium with a 97-yard punt return touchdown in the 2018 game against the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Lions add three
The BC Lions have added WR Jazmond Ferguson, DL Ufomba Kamalu, and DL Dana Levine Jr. to the roster. All three are Americans.
Ferguson (six-foot-five, 223 pounds) most recently was a member of the Seattle Seahawks after signing as a non-drafted free agent in May 2019. He suited up in all four pre-season games and recorded seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. He began his college career at LSU where he appeared in nine games over two seasons before transferring to Northwestern State for his junior and senior years.
Kamalu (six-foot-six, 295 pounds), is a former Miami Hurricanes standout that brings plenty of experience to the table, including a stint with the New England Patriots in their Super Bowl- winning season of 2018. Kamalu suited up in two games and recorded one defensive tackle after being activated in Week 16 of that season. He originally signed with the Houston Texans as a non-drafted free agent in 2016 and would record his first career NFL sack in a game against Matt Cassel and the Tennessee Titans.
Levine Jr. ( six-foot-four, 235 pounds) enjoyed a productive four-year career at Temple where he racked up 91 total tackles — including 18.5 for a loss –, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles in 39 games. He signed with the New York Giants as a non-drafted free agent in April of this year before being released in August.
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