HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have locked up two key members of their defence.
The Ticats re-signed veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence to a two-year contract Monday and then came to terms with defensive back Delvin Breaux on a three-year deal.
Lawrence, 30, and Breaux, 29, were scheduled to become free agents Tuesday.
Lawrence had 68 tackles, three sacks, three tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery last season. The six-foot-one, 231-pound linebacker has started 97-of-113 career CFL games with Edmonton and Hamilton.
Lawrence has registered 435 career tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, eight interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He's appeared in 11 playoff games, including two Grey Cup appearances with Hamilton (2013-14).
He was the East Division's top defensive player and a CFL all-star in 2015.
Breaux is a two-time all-star, the latest honour coming last year after he returned to the Ticats following a three-season run with the NFL's New Orleans Saints.
In 2018, Breaux started 14 games boundary corner for the Tiger-Cats, recording 24 defensive tackles, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, two pass knockdowns and one tackle for a loss.
"Delvin is one of the most dominant defensive players in the Canadian Football League," Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement. "Not only is he a great player, but a great person who enables us to keep continuity in the secondary. We are very excited to be able to retain a player of his calibre on a long-term deal."
ARGOS RE-SIGN FINLEY
The Toronto Argonauts have re-signed Canadian defensive lineman Jeff Finley to a one-year deal.
The 27-year-old enters his third season with Toronto. Finley, a six-foot-three, 260-pound native of St. Catharines, Ont., has appeared in 20 games having registered 20 tackles, four special-teams tackles and four sacks.
HURL REMAINS WITH RIDERS
Canadian linebacker Sam Hurl has signed a one-year contract extension with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The six-foot-one, 230-pound Hurl, a Calgary native, was scheduled to become a free agent Tuesday.
Hurl, 28, had 41 tackles, six special-teams tackles and two tackles for a loss last season with Saskatchewan. He also had three tackles in the Riders' 23-18 West Division semifinal loss to Winnipeg.
The seven-year veteran, who also spent three seasons with Winnipeg, has 207 career tackles, 53 special-teams tackles and eight sacks in 108 regular-season games. He has also played five career playoff games and was a member of Saskatchewan's 2013 Grey Cup-winning team.
LIONS RE-SIGN STEWARD, BURNHAM
The B.C. Lions re-signed Canadian offensive lineman Hunter Steward and receiver Bryan Burnham.
Steward's deal is through the 2019 season while Burnham's contract is for two years. Both were scheduled to hit CFL free agency Tuesday,
The six-foot-six, 315-pound Steward started 14 games last season and 58 over five seasons with B.C. The Lions selected the Calgary native in the first round, No. 6 overall, in the 2013 CFL draft.
"Hunter's size and ability can make him one of our most dominant offensive linemen," GM Ed Hervey said in a statement. "He has reached a point in his career that we're going to be depending on him a great deal in both pass protection and running the ball.
"It all starts at the line of scrimmage and if we're going to see improvement there then Hunter will be a big part of that development."
The six-foot-two, 205-pound Burnham led all B.C. receivers last year with 67 catches for 1,029 yards with nine TDs. It was his third straight 1,000-yard season.
"Bryan is a big part of our offence and this is a key signing for us on the eve of free agency." said Hervey. "We believe that we haven't yet seen how good Bryan can truly be in this league.
"He has all the tools to grow into one of the most dangerous and impactful players on the field."
BLANC SIGNS TWO-YEAR DEAL WITH ALS
The Montreal Alouettes have signed Canadian defensive lineman Jean-Samuel Blanc to a two-year contract.
The six-foot-one, 245-pound Blanc returns for a fifth season with Montreal. He had four tackles and nine special-team tackles in 15 games last year.
The 28-year-old Montreal native has appeared in 63 career games with the Alouettes.
"Jean-Samuel is a young veteran on our team and has gained valuable experience with us, while also fitting in our system," Montreal GM Kavis Reed said in a statement. "He has showed great progression over the seasons and we look forward to seeing him on the field next season."
MRABURE RETURNS TO STAMPS
Canadian defensive lineman Ese Mrabure has re-signed with the Calgary Stampeders.
The Toronto native dressed for 11 regular-season games and recorded four tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery in his first year with the Stamps in 2018.
In 49 career games for B.C., Saskatchewan and Calgary, Mrabure has 43 defensive tackles, including two tackles for loss, two special-teams tackles, five sacks and two fumble recoveries.
"Ese is a versatile player and his return fortifies our depth on the defensive line," Stampeders president/general manager John Hufnagel said in a statement. "His first year in Calgary was hampered by injury and I look forward to seeing what he can do for us over a full and healthy season."
The Canadian Press