With CFL free-agent pe­riod set to be­gin, here’s a look at some play­ers to watch


The CFL’s free-agent pe­riod be­gins at noon ET on Tues­day. Here’s a look at some of the top po­ten­tial free agents to watch out for:

Derek Den­nis - The six-foot­three, 341-pound Den­nis was the CFL’s top line­man last sea­son, his first as a starter with the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers. The na­tive of Queen’s N.Y., also showed his ver­sa­til­ity, start­ing at left tackle, left guard and right guard as a mem­ber of a Cal­gary unit that al­lowed a league-low 20 sacks.

Nolan MacMil­lan - The six­foot-six, 294-pound na­tive of Arn­prior, Ont., was the first player ever drafted by the Ot­tawa Red­blacks in 2013. He has played guard and tackle with the de­fend­ing Grey Cup cham­pi­ons and at age 26 MacMil­lan’s best days should still be ahead.

Jabar Wester­man - A ra­ti­ochanger as a Cana­dian start­ing on the de­fen­sive line. The six­foot-two, 285-pound na­tive of Bramp­ton, Ont., has spent the last six sea­sons with the B.C. Lions af­ter be­ing the sec­ond player taken in the 2012 CFL draft. Wester­man had a ca­reerbest five sacks in 2016.

Win­ston Ven­able - The veteran line­backer fin­ished fifth in the CFL with 88 tack­les last sea­son, giv­ing the Mon­treal Alou­ettes a solid 1-2 punch with Bear Woods (126 tack­les, sec­ond over­all). But the five­foot-11, 220-pound Ven­able also reg­is­tered seven sacks in his fourth CFL cam­paign with the Als.

Ernest Jack­son - The six­foot-two, 220-pound Jack­son was the East Divi­sion’s out­stand­ing player last sea­son af­ter reg­is­ter­ing 88 catches for 1,225 yards and 10 TDs with the Ot­tawa Red­blacks. He capped his fifth CFL sea­son by haul­ing in the win­ning TD strike from Henry Bur­ris to earn Ot­tawa a 39-33 over­time Grey Cup win over Cal­gary.

Chris Wil­liams - The speedy five-foot-nine, 155-pound Wil­liams has been a 1,000-yard re­ceiver the past two sea­sons with Ot­tawa, hav­ing recorded 165 catches for 2,460 yards and 15 TDs over that span. A knee in­jury ended his 2016 sea­son but when healthy, Wil­liams is a game-breaker both on of­fence and spe­cial teams.

Emanuel Davis - A four-year veteran de­fen­sive back, Davis has reg­is­tered 10 in­ter­cep­tions the last two sea­sons (five each year), re­turn­ing four for touch­downs. The five-foot-11, 182-pound Davis also made 126 de­fen­sive tack­les for the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats.

Kienan LaFrance - The Win­nipeg na­tive was huge for Ot­tawa in the East Divi­sion fi­nal, rush­ing for 157 yards on 27 car­ries (5.8-yard av­er­age) and a TD in the Red­blacks’ snowy 35-23 win over the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos. Five of the for­mer Man­i­toba Bisons star’s runs were for 10 or more yards while three were for 20 or more.

Cory Green­wood - Another po­ten­tial ra­tio-changer. The na­tive of Kingston, Ont., has spent the last three sea­sons with Toronto af­ter NFL stints with Kansas City and Detroit. Green­wood reg­is­tered a CFL ca­reer-high 70 tack­les in 2016 with two sacks.


Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers of­fen­sive line­man Derek Den­nis poses back­stage af­ter be­ing named Most Out­stand­ing Of­fen­sive Line­man at the CFL Awards held in Toronto on Thurs­day, Nov. 24, 2016.

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