Ranking the CFL's top 20 free agents
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Another year has come and gone in the CFL. After a fun 2017, it's time to look ahead to the 2018 season. Free agency doesn't officially open until Feb. 13, but teams have already jumped the gun and signed, or re-signed, players for the upcoming season.

Here are the top 20 available free agents:

20. Cleyon Laing, DT

2017 Stats (Toronto Argonauts): 10 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 5 sacks

Despite missing six games due to injury, Laing was named a 2017 East Division All-Star. A full and healthy season from Laing would be a great addition for any team looking to bolster its defence.

Projected landing spot: Argonauts

19. Taylor Reed, LB

2017 Stats (Ottawa RedBlacks): 94 total tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Reed had his best year since coming over from the NFL in 2014, ranking seventh in the league in total tackles. The linebacker brings a veteran presence to the locker room and is coming off his first full 18-game slate since 2015.

Expected landing spot: RedBlacks

18. Alex Mateas, OL

Originally a right guard, the East Division All-Star made the move to center after RedBlacks center Jon Gott went down to injury. Despite Gott’s return after a month, Mateas stayed at center after impressing Ottawa coaches. The RedBlacks surrendered the third-fewest sacks (33) and fourth-fewest rushing yards (1,703).

Expected landing spot: RedBlacks

17. DeVier Posey, WR

2017 Stats (Argonauts): 52 receptions, 744 yards, 7 TDs

Posey had a game to remember in Ottawa during the 105th Grey Cup. His record-breaking 100-yard touchdown, seven catches, and 175 total receiving yards earned him MVP honours of the snowy affair against the Calgary Stampeders.

Expected landing spot: Argonauts

16. Maurice Leggett, DB

2017 Stats (Winnipeg Blue Bombers): 50 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 TDs

Leggett was having a breakout year, on pace to post career-highs in tackles, sacks, and potentially interceptions, before suffering a season-ending torn Achilles tendon in October. If all goes well in terms of his recovery, he may be ready by the start of the 2018 CFL season.

Expected landing spot: Blue Bombers

15. Travis Lulay, QB

2017 Stats (BC Lions): 121 of 165 passing, 1,693 yards, 10 TDs, 7 interceptions; 31 carries, 145 yards, 5 TDs

Lulay suffered a season-ending injury in Week 12, tearing both his MCL and ACL. Lulay proved his capability at quarterback while taking over the starting job for a struggling and injured Jonathan Jennings for a portion of 2017. His health will be a big factor for interested clubs.

Expected landing spot: Alouettes

14. Armanti Edwards, WR

2017 Stats (Argonauts): 83 receptions, 962 yards, 4 TDs

After a brief and forgettable stint with the Roughriders, Edwards found a new home in Toronto. Catching passes from Ricky Ray, Edwards set several career-highs en route to a Grey Cup. Teammate S.J. Green has called Edwards the league's most underrated receiver.

Expected landing spot: Argonauts

13. Willie Jefferson, DL

2017 Stats (Saskatchewan Roughriders): 46 total tackles, 8 sacks, 1 fumble recovery (TD)

Widely regarded as the Roughriders' best defender, Jefferson had a breakout year while posting career-highs in total tackles and sacks. The first-time CFL All-Star is a force to be reckoned with up front.

Expected landing spot: Blue Bombers

12. Chris Randle, DB

2017 Stats (Blue Bombers): 60 total tackles, 1 sack, 5 interceptions, 2 TDs

Randle received CFL All-Star honours for a dominant season, the first such award of his career. He finished 2017 with career highs in tackles and interceptions, including two pick-6s. His awareness in covering receivers should make him a high priority for Winnipeg to re-sign, and should attract attention from other teams too.

Expected landing spot: Blue Bombers

11. Brandon Banks, WR

Update: Banks signed a new contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Jan. 5

2017 Stats (Tiger-Cats): 67 receptions, 1,011 yards, 8 TDs, 1 punt-return TD

Banks failed to crack 400 yards receiving in three of his first four years in Hamilton but flipped the script in 2017 with a career year. He joined Jalen Saunders and Luke Tasker as one of three Ticats receivers to eclipse 1,000 yards.

Expected landing spot: Tiger-Cats

10. Bear Woods, LB

2017 Stats (Argonauts): 91 total tackles, 2 sacks

The Alouettes shocked the CFL when they released their 2016 All-Star back in May; however, Woods signed on with the Argonauts just a few weeks later. He showed he's still a force to be reckoned with, finishing ninth in total tackles despite being briefly sidelined with a concussion.

Expected landing spot: Argonauts

9. Luke Tasker, WR

2017 Stats (Tiger-Cats): 104 receptions, 1,167 yards, 7 TDs

Tasker, who turned down a contract offer from the Green Bay Packers in 2015, has recorded over 1,000 yards receiving in two of the past three years and came pretty close (852) in 2016 while appearing in just 12 games. The East Division All-Star, and noted pilates enthusiast, finished sixth on the CFL's receiving yards list in 2017, right behind teammate Saunders.

Expected landing spot: Tiger-Cats

8. Jerome Messam, RB

2017 Stats (Calgary Stampeders): 215 carries, 1,016 yards, 9 TDs

For the second straight year, Messam had a season to remember, and was named Most Valuable Canadian of the 105th Grey Cup. With back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Messam has shown no signs of slowing down.

Expected landing spot: Stampeders

7. William Powell, RB

2017 Stats (RedBlacks): 173 Carries, 1,026 yards, 5 TDs; 31 receptions, 242 yards, 1 TD

Many wondered how Powell would bounce back after rupturing his Achilles in the 2016 preseason. After rushing for only 30 yards on five carries in Week 1 in 2017, Powell showed he's back to full health, finishing with over 1,000 yards on the year.

Expected landing spot: RedBlacks

6. Roy Finch, RB/KR

2017 Stats (Stampeders): Rushing - 21 carries, 114 yards; Punts - 73 returns, 1,200 yards, 3 TDs; Kicks - 26 returns, 696 yards

Opponents have reason to be afraid when Finch is waiting to catch their punts. Finch was named to the CFL All-Star list as a return man after leading the league in punt return yards and touchdowns. His speed should attract plenty of interest.

Expected landing spot: Stampeders

5. T.J. Heath, DB

2017 Stats (Blue Bombers): 64 total tackles, 5 interceptions, 1 TD, 1 sack

In only two seasons in the CFL, Heath has established a fearsome presence for opposing receivers while earning All-Star honours with both Winnipeg and Toronto. After recording five picks in 2017, including a pick-6, Heath is a hot target for teams looking to shore up their 1-on-1 coverage.

Expected landing spot: Argonauts

4. Ciante Evans, DB

2017 Stats (Stampeders): 53 total tackles, 5 interceptions

Missing just one game in 2017, Evans had his best season in the CFL en route to being named an All-Star. Evans recorded career highs in tackles and interceptions as a key part of a defence that allowed the fewest total points in the league (373) and had the second-most interceptions (20).

Expected landing spot: RedBlacks

3. Kenneth Ladler, DB

2017 Stats (Edmonton Eskimos): 99 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles/recoveries

Ladler is yet another example of a player disproving the "sophomore slump" theory. Like fellow second-year Eskimo Brandon Zylstra, Ladler was named a CFL All-Star after tying for fifth in total tackles.

Expected landing spot: Eskimos

2. S.J. Green, WR

2017 Stats (Argonauts): 104 receptions, 1,462 yards, 10 TDs

Green suffered a knee injury with the Alouettes at the end of 2016 and many critics questioned his future. Green, however, revived what's already an impressive CFL career, shining in his first season with the Double Blue. He led the team in catches and receiving yards, and Toronto would certainly love to have him back, with or without Ricky Ray tossing him the football.

Expected landing spot: Argonauts

1. Duron Carter, WR

2017 Stats (Roughriders): 73 receptions, 1,043 yards, 8 TDs

The son of NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter made headlines during the 2017 season with some incredible touchdown catches, including this one from Week 6 against the Argonauts:

Carter also put up his best numbers in four years in the CFL, including a career-high 282 yards after the catch. In a league that thrives mainly on passing, weapons like Carter are in high demand.

Expected landing spot: Roughriders

Honourable mention:

Ricky Ray, QB

2017 Stats (Argonauts): 474 of 668 passing, 5,546 yards, 28 TDs, 11 interceptions; 8 carries, 52 yards

Well, what's left to say about the legendary CFL veteran? Holding numerous CFL records, many are wondering if Ray should walk away on top and call it a career. But Ray has teased Toronto fans by saying he could play for two more years. If he does, it's assumed he'll be back with the Argos. Toronto, however, signed top prospect James Franklin to a two-year extension, adding more uncertainty to Ray's future with the club.

Ranking the CFL's top 20 free agents
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