The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced on Friday that they have signed free agent defensive back James Patrick. Patrick spent the last five seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but was released by them earlier this week.
Patrick is coming off a bit of a down year. He registered no interceptions after picking off 14 passes the previous two seasons, including a league-high nine in 2010. In that same 2010 season, Patrick was named a league all-star and was Saskatchewan’s nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
Upgrading the secondary was a top priority for the Ticats this off-season. The team released a number of veteran players a couple weeks ago, including defensive backs Geoff Tisdale and Carlos Thomas, and they needed to bring in players to make up for the losses of Tisdale and Thomas. By bringing in Patrick, the Ticats have added a former all-star to replace one of them.
By adding Patrick, the Ticats also bring in a player with a nose for the football. Creating turnovers has been a problem for Hamilton the last few seasons, with the Ticats finishing in the bottom half of the league in interceptions the last two seasons. Adding a ballhawk like Patrick is just what the secondary needs.
The Ti-Cats will likely try to find some other players for their defensive backfield when free agency opens next month.
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