Free agency is set for next Tuesday in the Canadian Football League (CFL) but General Manager Jeremy O’Day and head coach Craig Dickenson were able to retain a key piece of their defensive line.
On Monday they agreed to terms with Anthony Lanier on a new one-year contract.
The deal will reportedly make the defensive tackle the highest paid American defensive player in the CFL.
Dickenson made his weekly appearance on the SportsCage with Michael Ball today.
He said locking up Lanier for another season was important part of the Riders plans and kept him and O’Day up late on Sunday.
“A big win for us last night.”
Even with the recent signings of defensive linemen, there are still plenty of voids on the roster for the Roughriders a week before free agency. Dickenson acknowledged the team will have to add a veteran quarterback.
Starting on Sunday, teams across the CFL were given the opportunity to speak with players that have expiring contracts.
Trevor Harris has been linked to Saskatchewan in recent weeks and the team could sign the quarterback next week.
The Riders head coach says the 36-year-old has a lot of strong qualities.
” A solid veteran quarterback who has been there and done that, knows what it takes to be successful, is intelligent, is tough, appears to be a charismatic leader and physically he looks like he just as good now as he has ever been.”
Harris spent the 2021 season with the Alouettes. He has also suited up with Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto.
Door not closed on Clark
Dickenson said the offensive line will be a position the team will continue to explore this off-season.
He feels there are a few quality free agents and the team has spoken to them during this week’s negotiating period.
One player who may be back in Saskatchewan, is Dan Clark. The team has indicated to the veteran that the team is looking at their options, but the door is not closed for the centre to return in 2023.
Dickenson said no matter what happens this off-season, Clark will be a Rider for life.
“Whether he’s on the team, or in the stands, or coaching, ambassador, he’s always going to be associated with the Riders.”
Clark is set to become a free agent next Tuesday.
Coaching Staff Filled
A couple of lengthy searches have wrapped up as the Roughriders have hired a receivers and a defensive line coach.
On the SportsCage, Dickenson revealed that former CFL quarterback Drew Tate was hired as the team’s new receivers coach.
Tate was the BC Lions QB coach in 2019. He was the tight ends coach for Northern Iowa University in 2022.
The former quarterback spent time in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa REDBLACKS. He was also a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on two separate occasions, but never appeared in a game with the green and white.
Dickenson said the team will formally announce their coaching staff within the next couple of weeks.