Star linebacker Simoni Lawrence returns to Tiger-Cats for 8th season

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed star linebacker Simoni Lawrence after the 31-year-old led the CFL in defensive tackles (98) and defensive plays made (117) in 2019.

'Premier playmaker' was named CFL East top defensive player in 2019

Linebacker Simoni Lawrence, left, has re-signed with the Tiger-Cats after leading the CFL in defensive tackles (98) and defensive plays made (117) in 2019. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images/File)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed star linebacker Simoni Lawrence.

Lawrence returns to Hamilton for an eighth season after starting his CFL career in Edmonton in 2012.

The 31-year-old was the CFL East's top defensive player in 2019 after leading the league in defensive tackles (98) and defensive plays made (117). He added three interceptions, four sacks and one fumble recovery.

Lawrence set a CFL single-game record with 17 defensive tackles in a game against Winnipeg in 2019.

Winnipeg defensive lineman Willie Jefferson beat out Lawrence for the CFL's top defensive player award in 2019.

Lawrence holds the Tiger-Cats' franchise record with 533 career defensive tackles after surpassing Rob Hitchcock (484) in 2019, and currently sits second behind only Hitchcock (606) in total tackles with 551.

"Simoni routinely brings positive energy and an infectious daily work ethic to our football team," Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement. "He is a great leader and premier playmaker, who also strives to make a difference in our community off the field."

Alouettes WR Wieneke inks 1-year extension

The Montreal Alouettes have signed 2019 CFL East top rookie Jake Wieneke to a one-year extension.

The six-foot-four, 215-pound American wide receiver had 41 catches for 569 yards with eight touchdown receptions last season.

The South Dakota State product added two catches for 36 yards in the East semifinal.

Wieneke lost out to Calgary linebacker Nate Holley for the league's rookie of the year award.

"His presence on offence gives us stability for the upcoming season, all while allowing us to keep opposing defences on their heals," Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia said in a statement.

Riders sign draft picks

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed five more of their picks from the 2020 CFL draft.

The club has signed:

  • Wide receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker (fourth round, 30th overall)
  • Linebacker A.J. Allen (fourth round, 35th overall)
  • Defensive back Vincent Dethier (fifth round, 44th overall)
  • Running back Jonathan Femi-Cole (sixth round, 53rd overall)
  • Offensive lineman Jesse Lawson (seventh round, 62nd overall)

The signings come a day after the club agreed to terms with its top pick, offensive lineman Mattland Riley.

Saskatchewan's eighth-round pick, defensive end Neville Gallimore, was also selected by Dallas in the NFL draft and played 14 games with the Cowboys this season.

Other CFL signings:

  • Winnipeg has struck a one-year extension with Canadian offensive lineman Pat Neufeld. The Regina native will be entering his 10th CFL season and is the second-longest serving Blue Bomber. Neufeld missed the first 12 games of the 2019 season because of injury before returning to help the Bombers win the Grey Cup.
  • The Ottawa Redblacks have re-signed American linebackers Shaheed Salmon and Dwayne Norman, defensive lineman Shaneil Jenkins and receiver Malcolm Williams.
  • The Stampeders have welcomed back American linebacker Jameer Thurman, who played 35 games for Calgary in 2017-18 and was a member of the 2018 Grey Cup championship team. The Indiana State product was cut by the Chicago Bears in 2019 before playing for DC in the XFL last year.

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