Saturday, 16 February 2013

Free Agency Day 2: Cats Sign One, Release One

The Ti-Cats were busy once again on Saturday, signing former Blue Bomber defensive back Deon Beasley and releasing running back Avon Cobourne.

Beasley comes to Hamilton following three seasons with the Bombers. His signing, coupled with the signings of James Patrick and Evan McCollough, means the Ti-Cats are very serious about rebuilding their secondary. It also means the team is probably going to go with an all-import defensive backfield. Those three, along with Dee Webb and Bo Smith will likely make up the team's secondary. Anything can happen between now and the start of the season, but it seems likely that the Ti-Cats will go with those five guys as their starters.

The release of Cobourne, once again, doesn't make sense to me. In fact, it might make even less sense this year than it did last year. I understand that the team has Chevon Walker under contract and expects Martell Mallett to return from injury, but neither of those guys are sure things. Walker played great, but also was a bit of a one-trick pony. Maybe he expands his game in his second year, but maybe he'll always just be a speed guy. Mallett is coming off an Achilles injury, so who knows if he'll ever be the same player again. Add in the fact that he hasn't played since 2009, and he remains a huge question mark.

I also understand that Cobourne will be 34 this year, which is ancient for running backs, but nothing Cobourne has done suggests he's passed his expiry date. Last year, at 33 and without a full off-season with the team, Cobourne rushed for over 700 yards, averaged close to six yards per carry and was every bit as effective as he was in previous years.

The Ti-Cats made a good move in adding Beasley, but a poor one in releasing Cobourne. It feels like one step forward and one step back.

1 comment:

  1. Tough call on AC. I can see both perspectives on this. The man did everything that was asked of him and more (twice!) and when given the opportunity consistently put up yards and gave Burris a valuable shield.

    Just throwing this out there and maybe it's too far-fetched, but with Austin saying he wants more flexibility, could we see a NI in the backfield more often? Stephenson can probably do more than he has, the team drafted Bo Palmer last year... perhaps that fits into the Cobourne equation too?