The Calgary Stampeders hope they've picked up a pickoff artist.
Canadian defensive back Richard Karikari joined the Stamps yesterday as a free agent after being released this week by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Coming to Calgary means Karikari is re-united with defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who coached the 28-year-old for four seasons with the Montreal Alouettes.
Jones expects to put Karikari back at safety, the position at which he excelled with the Als. He could give the Stamps a Canadian starter in the secondary, which they didn't have.
"Any time you can get a guy who has played as Richard had in the past is a good deal," said Jones. "He had what I call a subpar year last season (with Hamilton), basically playing out of position. He is re-energized and has something to prove, so he'll play with a chip on his shoulder."
Karikari played cornerback and halfback with the Ticats last season but wasn't as effective as previous seasons.
His addition means Trey Young will likely stay at linebacker, but the battle for secondary spots will be competitive because of the signing this week of Dwight Anderson, who was also with the Ticats. Karikari's best CFL season was 2005 in Jones' system, when he recorded nine interceptions and was a league all-star.
"To say he can repeat what he did that year is pretty tough," Jones said. "But I expect him to come in and make tackles in the open field, cover a little and blitz when we need him to."
The St. Francis Xavier product is excited to back with Jones.
"I'm looking forward to going out west, I think Calgary is a wonderful city and an excellent CFL market," said Karikari in a statement. "Obviously, my past relationship with Chris factored into my decision and I am thrilled to be a part of this team"
For the second straight day, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed a highly coveted free agent. After re-signing RT Dan Goodspeed Friday, GM Brendan Taman locked up DE Tom Canada to a three-year deal yesterday ... The Ticats signed R Tony Miles from arch-rival Toronto ... The Edmonton Eskimos added DT Dario Romero and OL Garrick Jones, who was Calgary's left tackle last season ... The Montreal Alouettes signed DB Tay Cody and LB JoJuan Armour, both from the Ticats.