• By: OLM Staff

Will Trevor Harris Stay? Free Agency Preview for Redblacks Offense

Photo credit: Justin Tang (CP)

With the sting of their loss in the 106th Grey Cup now in the rearview mirror, the Ottawa Redblacks are planning how to improve for the upcoming season.

The list of free agents for most CFL teams this year is pretty staggering, Redblacks included. It appeared to be a monumental task for general manager Marcel Desjardins to maintain the roster that won the East last season, but he has already taken significant strides towards keeping that group together.

15 of the Redblacks’ 24 starters in November’s Grey Cup were all set to hit free agency. That includes eight divisional all-stars and their starting quarterback. It is impossible to predict which new players the Redblacks will land until we know for sure which stars will be going out the door. Many have already re-upped and will be in Ottawa next season.

CFL free agency is just mere days away but the most important deal (between the CFL and CFL Players Association) has yet to be agreed upon.

There is increasing concern from teams, players and fans because the CFL and the CFLPA have still not come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. The 2019 season cannot be played without it. But with or without a new CBA, free agency is still set to begin next Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. EST and teams are looking to retain or upgrade their current rosters.

You can find the free agency preview for the Redblacks defense here.

(+) = Re-signed

(-) = Will not be re-signed

Skill Position Players:

  • Trevor Harris
  • William Powell
  • Greg Ellingson
  • Diontae Spencer (-)
  • Dominique Rhymes
  • Julian Feoli Gudino (+)
  • Dominique Davis (+)
  • Mossis Madu

The quarterback position will set the tone for CFL free agency as a whole. Three elite signal-callers will hit the open market: Trevor Harris, Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell, though the latter seems set on signing south of the border in the NFL. Other free agent quarterbacks include Zach Collaros, Jonathan Jennings, Travis Lulay and Ricky Ray.

The CFL could look vastly different next season depending on where the top quarterbacks land. Are the Redblacks happy with what they have seen out of Harris as a full-time starter the last two seasons or will they take a swing at taking the next step as an offense with someone they see as a better fit?

Receiver Diontae Spencer has already been released by the team so he could sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The electric play of Spencer both as a pass-catcher and as a returner could prove difficult to replace.

William Powell, who has been #2 in the CFL in rushing yards the last two seasons, remains unsigned as well. As does Greg Ellingson, who has become an Ottawa sports icon during his time in the nation’s capital. Although he says it was directed towards the doubters, not the Redblacks front office, Ellingson took to Twitter recently to dispel the notion he took a step back last season.

Ellingson has also expressed interest publicly to stay in Ottawa with the team that he has helped lead to three Grey Cup appearances, setting multiple franchise records along the way. The Redblacks can’t break up ‘the Buds’, can they?

With Harris, Powell and Ellingson all un-signed (as of now), the Redblacks still have the flexibility to field a significantly altered offense in 2019. The CFL free agent pool is certainly not devoid of talented targets if Ottawa indeed is looking to shake things up. Along with several capable quarterbacks, there are numerous big-play receiver that could be available. That includes Derel Walker, Bryan Burnham and Devier Posey.

Offensive Line:

  • SirVincent Rogers
  • Jason Lauzon-Seguin (+)
  • Nolan Macmillan (+)
  • Jon Gott (-)

Offensive tackle SirVincent Rogers was named to the CFL All-Star team last season and would be a big blow to the offensive line if he and the Redblacks cannot come to terms for a new deal. He has anchored the left side of the line for several years now.

The retention of Lauzon-Seguin and Nolan Macmillan however is crucial to keeping depth for the O-line, especially considering the fact that both are Canadians (needed for the league-mandated Canadian-American lineup ratio).

According to a report by Postmedia’s Tim Baines, the Redblacks have no intention of re-signing Jon Gott.

Although the man with one of Ottawa’s most recognizable beards has been a fan favourite throughout his time with the team, it is not at all a shocking revelation that the Redblacks are looking to move one. Gott was taken out of the starting lineup for much of the 2018 season as the Redblacks reshaped their offensive line.

Stay tuned on Ottawa Life for more free agent CFL coverage in the coming weeks as new deals are announced and the Redblacks look to bring in new weapons for the 2019 season.

You can find the free agency preview for the Redblacks defense here.