Wednesday 15 February 2012

Day One of Free Agency Starts and Ends With a Whimper

The league moved the start of free agency up 12 hours, but perhaps the old midnight start time hid the truth that the beginning of free agency isn't very exciting. There was very little in the way of actual signings – for a brief period of time new Eskimos Receiver Cary Koch, he of 36 career catches, was the talk of the league – and all of the marquee names are still available (though the late word is that former Argos Defensive Back Byron Parker is heading to BC).

News on the Tiger-Cat front was scarce, and the team did not sign any players on day one. The team is apparently looking at former Argos Linebacker Kevin Eiben. Eiben would make an excellent addition to the team, as he can start at Linebacker (if needed) and provides great Canadian depth.

The team has also sent a contract to Justin Medlock. I've expounded enough about Medlock, but in short, SIGN THE MAN!

But the biggest news of the day, Ti-Cats wise, was Bob Young's tweet about none other than Andy Fantuz.

Fantuz is currently in Africa on vacation, and the time difference is being used as a reason for his not having a deal. So when Young said that he "always wanted to go on Safari to bag a big Cat," everyone took notice.

Young is not one to say things publicly that could jeopardize his team, so he must be under the impression that the Cats have a very good shot of signing the Chatham, ON native. Based on the signings of Receivers Koch and Greg Carr by Edmonton and Jason Barnes by the Argos, it seems as if the Riders and Ti-Cats remain as the two top suitors for the 2010 Most Outstanding Canadian.

I initially thought the big names, like Fantuz and former Blue Bomber Guard Brendon LaBatte, would already be signed, but that obviously didn't happen. I don't expect either to remain on the market for long – LaBatte is thought to be on the verge of signing with the Roughriders – but who knows.

The league changed the start time to make the beginning of free agency to be more fan friendly; it turned out to be anything but. Perhaps moving the time back or allowing teams to talk to players a day or so before the official opening, without fear of tampering, would have made today more exciting.

In any event, the free agent frenzy was anything but; however, with lots of good players still on the open market, a lot is still left to be determined.

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