Riders secure 3 free agents in busy week before Christmas

By 980 CJME
December 19, 2018 - 3:13pm

The Roughriders free agent wish list got a little shorter this week.

The club wrapped up three pending free agents including receiver Patrick Lavoie, defensive tackle Zack Evans and defensive back Louchiez Purifoy.

Purifoy was the latest announcement, made Wednesday morning, with Evans’ announcement coming Tuesday and Lavoie’s the day before.

Purifoy came to the Riders in August of 2018 after being released by the Ottawa Redblacks. He made 31 defensive tackles and three interceptions in eleven games in the green and white.

Through three CFL seasons, Purifoy has collected 148 defensive tackles, eight interceptions and five quarterback sacks.

His deal keeps him with the club through the 2019 season.

Evans’ extension, however, is a good deal longer than his defensive teammate’s.

The Regina-native signed a four-year contract extension that left him literally jumping for joy to be back with his hometown team long term.

“Stepping on this field and hearing Rihanna sing her song (as part of the Bring ’em Out medley) is just, it’s everything to me. I grew up loving it, I grew up being a Rider fan – wanting to be a Rider,” Evans told the media Tuesday.

Evans spent two seasons in green and white before he was taken in the Ottawa Redblacks expansion draft in late 2013. He went on to play four seasons in Ottawa and won a Grey Cup there before he returned to the Roughriders last season.

The Regina native played all 18 regular season games for the Roughriders, made 15 defensive tackles, one quarterback sack and recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

On the other side of the ball, Lavoie inked a two-year deal with the club on Monday. He was brought to Saskatchewan at the trade deadline from Montreal and slotted into the line-up just days after.

“(They) just opened the door and said ‘yeah let’s go, let us know what you know and we’re going to work together’ the fit was perfect, for me the fit was perfect,” Lavoie said about his arrival in Saskatchewan.

In four games with the Riders, Lavoie picked up 81 yards on 11 receptions; through seven CFL seasons, Lavoie has made 148 receptions for 1,343 yards and seven touchdowns.

He won a Grey Cup in Ottawa in 2016.

The signings bring the Roughriders pending free agent list down to 22 players. The club announced Marcus Thigpen’s one-year extension in November, while quarterback Drew Tate retired to take a position on the B.C. Lions coaching staff.

Remaining Rider Free Agents

Zach Collaros, quarterback
Brandon Bridge, quarterback
Cameron Marshall, running back
Naaman Roosevelt, receiver
Kenny Shaw, receiver
Caleb Holley, receiver
Brian Jones, receiver
Rob Bagg, receiver
Devon Bailey, receiver
Josiah St. John, offensive lineman
Willie Jefferson, defensive lineman
Mic’hael Brooks, defensive lineman
Cory Johnson, defensive lineman
Eddie Steele, defensive lineman
Makana Henry, defensive lineman
Samuel Eguavoen, linebacker
Sam Hurl, linebacker
Kevin Francis, linebacker
Mike Edem, defensive back
Marc-Olivier Brouillette, defensive back
Tobi Antigha, defensive back
Jovon Johnson, defensive back

Riders face road start, finish to 2019 season

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