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CFL free agency 2024: Who is signed and who is left?

It’s that time once again! The Canadian Football League’s free agency period officially opened up in mid-February as so far, we have seen soon of the league’s highest profile players making some surprising moves. Also, there are still some that are yet to be signed.

For those placing a bet on upcoming games, these signings should be of particular interest as they may have a significant impact on game results. Here are some of the top signings you need to know about:

Mathieu Betts – signed by Detroit Lions

Known to be the most outstanding defensive player in the Canadian Football League, Mathieu Betts announced his move to the Detroit Lions in February to a reserve/futures contract. The Montreal born player formerly played for the BC Lions, where notably in 2023 he recorded 18 sacks in 18 games, more than any other Canadian player in the league’s history.

Dalton Schoen – re-signed by Winnipeg Blue Bombers

27-year-old Wide Receiver Dalton Schoen turned down other interested parties to re-sign with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The player holds a strong belief that the Winnipeg team is where he belongs and was willing to ignore any financial incentives to move as a result.

Schoen has signed on to a one-year deal with the team. In 2022, he was named top rookie after an impressive performance which included 1,441 receiving yards off 70 receptions and 16 touchdowns.

This latest contract is reported to be worth in the region of $230,000, a big uplift on his $70,000 earnings in the previous season. Following an ankle injury last year, the player is looking ahead to the upcoming season and is keen to show just what he is made of.

Brady Oliveira – staying with Winnipeg Blue Bombers

26-year-old rushing leader Brady Oliveria has also entertained a number of offers recently put on the table. However, the player has decided that staying with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is also in his best interests.

The deal struck was a two-year extension on his current contract with the bombers. He played an instrumental role in helping the team finish at the top of the West Division last season after running an impressive 1,534 yards last season.

While not confirmed, Brady could be earning $230,000 this season from the deal and $250,000 in the 2025 season.

Trevor Harris – remains with Saskatchewan Roughriders

37-year-old Quarterback Trevor Harris had his contract with the Riders re-worked for the 2024 season, resulting in a $250,000 signing bonus. Harris had an unfortunate end to the 2023 season after suffering a painful tibial plateau fracture.

The player started five games for the Saskatchewan team and scored six touchdowns. He is an experienced player who still has the drive to do well, Harris has won two Grey Cup titles during his playing career and is just shy of 30,000 passing yards in total.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson – signed with the Edmonton Elks

Earlier this year the Edmonton Elks secured Quarterback and Sacramento State graduate McLeod Bethel-Thompson in a one-year deal that had been rumoured for a while beforehand. Including potential bonuses, the player has the potential to earn a cool $500,000 from the move.

He spent the previous season in the United States with the New Orleans Breakers but has substantial experience in the Canadian Football League as well. In 2022, the player was part of the Toronto Argonauts team that was successful in earning a 24-23 Grey Cup win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

With a great track record, it will be interesting to see what McLeod brings to the Elks in the coming season.

Matthew Shiltz – signed with Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders have added another quarterback to their roster after agreeing terms with QB Matthew Shiltz earlier this year. This is a huge win for the Stampeders, given the success that Shiltz brought to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The player achieved a career high during the season with 1,556 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Shiltz will most certainly be seen as competition for leading man Jake Maier. 

There are still a number of key CFL players up for grabs…

One of the top offensive players in the league, Lucky Whitehead, is yet to confirm where he will be in the coming season. The 31-year-old receiver made his first appearance for the Bombers in 2019 and helped them to win their Grey Cup title.

2023 was the best career year for Jamal Morrow in the CFL, while it has been suggested that he will sign with the Stampeders this is yet to be confirmed. Lastly, there is Janarion Grant also yet to confirm where he will be playing.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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