Shea Emry won two Grey Cups with the Alouettes. Now, he's off to the Argos.Montreal Alouettes' Canadian linebacker Shea Emry was widely seen as one of the top players to watch heading into CFL free agency Tuesday, and watchers didn't have to wait long. Less than an hour after free agency officially opened at noon Eastern, TSN's Farhan Lalji reported that the Toronto Argonauts had signed Emry. That's a big move, and one that could dramatically alter both the Argonauts' and Alouettes' lineups next year, particularly from an import ratio perspective.
According to the CFL's import rules, teams must start seven non-import (or Canadian) players. What positions those players play varies from team to team, though, and that's what makes Emry so important; as a rare Canadian who plays the traditional import position of middle linebacker (and plays it exceptionally well; he was named both a league and divisional all-star in 2012 and won the Lew Hayman Trophy as the East Division's outstanding Canadian that year), he allows his team to start another American elsewhere. How would that look for Toronto? Well, by the end of their 2013 campaign (an East Final loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats), the Argos were starting four Canadians on the offensive line (everyone except Tony Washington is a non-import), one at fullback (Alexander Robinson), one at wide receiver (Spencer Watt), one at defensive tackle (Cleyon Laing) and one at safety (Matt Black). That's actually one more than required, so the team had pretty solid Canadian content. Emry's addition makes them even better there, though, potentially giving them the chance to use another import on the line or as a starting receiver.Read More »from Alouettes’ Shea Emry signs with the Argos, which could alter both teams’ ratio plans going forward