Re-Capping the most recent moves
With the CFL Free Agency period commencing on February 15th the BC Lions have a host of talents that are due to become available. Some come with a little more cache than others but I believe GM Wally Buono made some outstanding decisions on Thursday, trading Mike Reilly and re-signing Shawn Gore.
Buono still has moves to make but today was a great start in the free agent frenzy.
So Long Mike
QB Mike Reilly proved to everyone in the CFL that he is a capable quarterback in this league. I’m just not sure that he is ready for full time starter status. After filling in for a banged-up Travis Lulay, he was the toast of the town, providing a few wins and anchoring BC’s place as top seed in the CFL West division.
Reilly showed poise and confidence, brushing off an INT returned for a TD to come back and post a victory over Edmonton, the team he was just traded to. Here’s the deal, if Wally locks him up there’s no guarantee he will remain a Lions for the duration of his deal as he will be one of the most sought after prospects in the CFL expansion draft when Ottawa comes to play next year.
BC will protect Lulay come expansion time leaving Reilly exposed. In this case, the Lions masterful GM received assets when a potential loss was looming.
WR Shawn Gore is the next real deal. A Mr. Everything for the Lions Offense as he is the possession receiver, a threat at every range and can be lined up inside or flexed out wide.
Plus we have seen him take the handoff a couple times in misdirection runs.
Gore’s value has rocketed over the past seasons where now he is considering NFL offers.
Buono and Coach Mike Benevides need to give Gore the keys to the franchise now.
In a pass heavy system, without Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce III, Lulay is running out of experienced targets. This was a remarkable signing for the Leo’s that can now run with a couple of Canadians as the focal points of the Offensive machine.
Moving forward, the next move Buono needs to make is resigning LB James Yurichuck before the 15th.
An underrated piece of BC’s Defence and Special Teams, Yuri is agile enough to line up as an outside Linebacker but ferocious enough to line up in the middle and equally dynamic on Specials.
With Adam Bighill starting at middle LB Yurichuk provides depth and stability to the position.
Like Gore, Yurichuk has the “ratio changer” quality in him, being a highly productive non-import talent. The only thing keeping Yurichuk from re-upping in BC is the fact that he can be a starter on any other CFL roster and he may wish to test the free agent market.
This still leaves a couple of un-signed free agent Lions on the table, most notably Solomon Elimimian and Jovan Olafioye.
As nice as it would be to see these guys back in the Orange and Black they both have the talent and ambition to ply their trade in the NFL.
Cheers, The Bartender