The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will certainly have a new look defence in 2013.
The Ticats signed their fifth free agent since noon Friday, and all five players are on the defensive side of the ball.
The Cats inked hard hitting linebacker Marcellus Bowman Sunday afternoon, despite the fact that the former Blue Bombers star underwent what is described as "major knee surgery" on February 7th.
Bombers GM Joe Mack told the Winnipeg media that Bowman will need "months and months" of rehabilitation.
In a statement Sunday, Tiger-Cats general manager and head coach Kent Austi said "We’re well aware that he recently underwent a medical procedure but feel comfortable making this signing after consulting with our doctors. Our medical staff will work closely with Marcellus to ensure he returns to the field at 100% as soon as possible. We’re very excited to have Marcellus on board. Marcellus is an extremely talented player and a game-changer on defence."
In 43 games over three seasons with Winnipeg, the 26-year-old Girard, Ohio native made 153 defensive tackles, 29 special teams tackles, nine sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Last season, the 6-3, 228-pound Boston College product made a career-high 52 tackles and two sacks.
Linebacker/defensive end Shomari Williams, defensive lineman Brian Bulcke, and defensive backs Evan McCollough and Deon Beasley have also been brought to Hamilton via free agency.
Williams spent the last three seasons in Saskatchewan after the Roughriders made him the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.
The 6-1, 232-pounder has recorded 90 defensive tackles, 32 special teams tackles, five sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery in the CFL.
Last year, the 27-year-old Torontonian registered a career-high 29 defensive tackles, 8 special teams takedowns, two sacks and a pick.
Bulcke has spent two seasons in the CFL, both with Calgary, after the Stampeders made the Windsor native the 6th overall selection in the 2010 draft.
The 25-year-old Stanford grad has recorded 29 defensive tackles and three sacks in 22 career games.
In his three seasons with the Argonauts, the 5-11, 196-pound McCollough has made 159 defensive tackles, five interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
Beasley has also played three CFL seasons, all with Winnipeg, where he recorded 59 carer defensive tackles, 14 special teams tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.
The Ticats did make one roster deletion this long weekend, releasing running back Avon Cobourne for the second straight off-season.
Cobourne ran for 737 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2012, his 7th season in the CFL and 2nd in Hamilton.
He also made 32 receptions for 337 yards and 2 TDs.