The end of January marked the end of an uneasy feeling for REDBLACKS’ management and fans, but the start of an interesting February. Nick Arbuckle signed on the dotted line making him the REDBLACKS starting quarterback for 2 years.
Marcel Desjardin having gotten done the hardest part of the offseason, can now turn his focus on getting Nick Arbuckle some help at running back and receiver. We are going to look at the top 10 offensive options that could be available come February 11th.
1. Darvin Adams – WR – Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Darvin Adams is coming off a “down” season in 2019 only playing 13 games. In those 13 games however, he put up very good numbers, racking up 47 Rec, 549 yards along with 5 touchdowns.
Adams would be a familiar face for LaPolice, having played under his offensive system since 2015. He would be the perfect fit for Ottawa as a player who could play inside or out.
2. Luke Tasker – WR – Hamilton Tiger-Cats
One of two Hamilton Tiger-Cat players on this list, Luke Tasker has been one of the most consistent threats for Hamilton since arriving in 2013. The 2019 season was an unfortunate one for Tasker only playing in 9 games for the Tiger-Cats. He was still able to put up respectable numbers with 36 REC, 406 yard but 0 TDs.
Tasker could see a raise for the 2020 season as one of the top inside threats in the league. He would improve any red zone offence with his mobility in an offence.
3. Shaq Evans – WR – Saskatchewan RoughRiders
Shaq evans 2nd season in the league was all star worthy, putting up 1,334 yard receiving on 72 receptions and 5 TDs, finishing the 2019 season 4th in the CFL in receiving yards. He proved that his 1st season in the league was no joke.
Shaq can create space and beat DBs in one on one situations, forcing over the top coverage, creating mismatches for other receivers. The 6’1 receiver can win those 50/50 balls down the sideline working wonders with a gun slinger like Arbuckle.
4. S.J Green – WR – Toronto Argonauts
There is no guarantee that the 34 year receiver will be coming back for his 14th CFL season but if he does, he would look good in Black & Red. Green has been the definition of longevity & durability. Since he became a full time player he has appeared in all 18 games six times and only missed 23 games. 16 of those came in the 2016 season when he tore his ACL, MCL, PCL & Meniscus in a week 2 match up vs Ottawa.
Green has plenty left in the tank after hitting the 1000 yard receiving mark in 3 straight seasons with the Argonauts. An S.J Green – Brad Sinopoli duo would create one of most consistent and durable 1-2 punches for Arbuckle.
5. Derel Walker – WR – Toronto Argonauts
After 2 injury plagued seasons in Edmonton where he only played 19 games, Walker headed into 2019 Free Agency as one of the top available receivers. Electing to sign a 1 year prove it deal with Toronto, Walker was able to suit up for 15 games and hit the 1000 receiving mark for the 1st time since the 2016 season.
With uncertainty surrounding the Quarterback position in Toronto, Walker who is an inside threat that can make things happen when the ball is in his hands would serve well for a young QB in this league.
6. Anthony Coombs – RB/WR – Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The 2nd of 2 Tiger-Cats named to the list. When he came into the league in 2014, he was considered the most versatile Canadian running back in the league. Over the his last 2 seasons with the Argonauts, he saw his snaps reduced and he never looked like the player he once was. In 2019, He became a Tiger-Cat and due to injuries, saw his snaps at both running back and receiver go up. In 16 games for the Tiger-Cats, Coombs put up 158 yards on the ground and 156 yards in the air.
Coombs, used mostly as a receiver so far in his career, would benefit the offensive game plan. Pairing him up with a running back like Crockett would give opposing defences and defensive Coordinators headaches.
7. Jeremiah Johnson – RB – Montreal
Maybe the second stint will go better than the first. Johnson spent parts of 2 seasons with the REDBLACKS in 2014-2015 before heading out west to BC. The 32 year old Running back may not be an every down back but he would be a great tandem back with Crockett. Johnson fits the ground and pound run system that LaPolice loves to use as he is a more of a North-South runner than a East-West Runner
Johnson isn’t limited to just a runner, he has catching abilities out of the back field and can easily make a defender or two miss in the open field. If Johnson can stay healthy, only playing a combined 24 games over the last 2 seasons, he could be running over people all season.
8. Duron Carter – WR – BC Lions
The most infamous player in Ottawa could be making a trip to Ottawa. We all know the Carter-Campbell incident from when he was with Montreal, but no matter how you feel about Carter, there is no doubt that he can ball. Carter has hit 1000 yards receiving twice in his career and is one of the best 1v1 receivers in the league.
Carter would bring much needed energy and swag to this team, he can do so much for an offense. LaPolice is the perfect coach for Carter and Ottawa is the perfect spot for Carter. A gunslinger like Arbuckle to a playmaker like Carter would be magic.
9. Natey Adjei – WR – Edmonton Eskimos
Canadian receiver Natey Adjei was surprisingly released by Edmonton heading into the FA period. He has been mostly a 3rd or 4th receiver in his career but has proven that he can be a solid WR-KR option.
An inside guy who can create mismatches for linebackers would fit in a LaPolice lead offensive system. He may not be the big name or big stats guy, but he can play and be a great release option for Arbuckle
10. R.J Harris – WR – Ottawa REDBLACKS
Ending our list, we have R.J Harris who should be re-signed by the REDBLACKS due to the fact that he has shown improvements. Harris put up 774 receiving yards on 62 REC while playing 14 games. He became the #2 option behind Sinopoli and showed that he can excel at it.
Harris put up more yards catching passes from a trio of Davis-Jennings-Arndt than he did the year prior with the Duo of Harris-Davis. Harris has shown he deserves at least 1 year of catching passes from Arbuckle under LaPolice.
Honourable Mentions: Caleb Holley, Chris Matthews, Nate Behar, Armanti Edwards, Naaman Roosevelt
Thanks for reading! If i missed anyone or your list is different, let us know! Follow me on Twitter @ shane_ryan97 for more CFL Talk