Hamilton Tiger-Cats re-sign pass rusher, reliable backup QB


Published February 6, 2023 at 5:31 pm

Hamilton Tiger-Cats rush end Malik Carney. (CFL.ca)

Malik Carney, who excels at chasing down quarterbacks, and Matthew Shiltz, who makes defenders chase him, are back in the black-and-gold fold of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The signings of the Tiger-Cats’ projected No. 2 quarterback and their co-sacks leader leaves the team with 18 pending free agents with one week left until Canadian Football League players can hit the open market at 12 noon on Feb. 14. Two of those players are Carney’s fellow defensive linemen Julian Howsare and Micah Johnson, whom Carney tied for the team lead in sacks in 2022 with seven apiece last season.

Shiltz, 30, suited up 17 regular-season games and one playoff game with four starts for Hamilton in 2022. He completed 85-of-119 pass attempts for 935 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The six-foot-two, 205-pound native of St. Charles, Ill., made 28 rushes for 152 yards with one rushing touchdown.

The five-season CFL veteran has played 67 games with the Tiger-Cats and Montréal Alouettes (2017-21). Shiltz would likely draw in as the understudy to recently signed two-time CFL most outstanding player and two-time Grey Cup champion quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who formally joined the Tiger-Cats in January.

Defensively last season, Hamilton struggled to create disruptive plays such as sacks and takeaways. But Carney, a six-foot-three, 245-pound rush end, notched his seven sacks while starting in only six of his 17 appearances in his first full CFL season. He tallied 30 total tackles (including 26 on defence), and scored his first pro touchdown on a 22-yard fumble return on Sept. 17 vs. Winnipeg.

Carney, who hails from Alexandria, Va., previously had NFL trials with the Denver Broncos (2019-20), Seattle Seahawks (2019), and Detroit Lions (2019).

Other pending Hamilton free agents with just a week before signing include:

  • Receiver — Tim White, Lemar Durant, David Ungerer III. (White led the Tiger-Cats in receiving last season.)
  • Running back — Wes Hills.
  • Offensive line — Colin Kelly, Kay Okafor.
  • Defensive line — Valentin Ghanuoa, Julian Howsare, Micah Johnson.
  • Linebacker — Kam Kelly, Simoni Lawrence, Curtis Newton, Jovan Santos-Knox. (Kelly was a CFL all-star last season at sam linebacker, the hybrid defender position that is a CFL analog to the strong safety in the NFL.)
  • Defensive back — Ciante Evans, DB Jumal Rolle.
  • Kicker-punter — Mike Domagala.
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