Tiger-Cats re-sign all-star Laurent, linebackers Shortill, Dean

It's a thankless job, but one Ted Laurent does so very well (Frank Gunn/CP)

HAMILTON — Ted Laurent is staying put.

The burly defensive tackle signed a two-year contract extension with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Tuesday. The CFL club announced the deal minutes after the noon ET start of the league’s free-agent period.

Laurent, a two-time CFL all-star, was regarded as one of the top players available in free agency.

The 30-year-old had 13 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble in 12 starts last season. The six-foot-one, 299-pound Laurent has appeared in 110 regular-season games — starting 92 — over his seven-year CFL career with Edmonton (2011-13) and Hamilton.

Hamilton did sign free-agent kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, who spent last season with the Grey Cup-champion Toronto Argonauts. The 27-year-old handled all three kicking jobs — punting, kicking, kickoffs — with the Argos, hitting on 47-of-58 field goals (81 per cent) while posting a 44-yard punting average.

Prior to noon ET start of free agency, the Ticats re-signed linebackers Larry Dean and Nick Shortill. Both players were scheduled to become free agents.

Dean, a 29-year-old American, was an East Division all-star and Hamilton’s nominee as outstanding player and defensive player last season. He appeared in all 18 regular-season games, registering 96 tackles, three special-teams tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Dean has appeared in 36 career games — starting 35 — with Hamilton since 2016.

The six-foot-two, 227-pound Shortill, a native of Nobleton, Ont., appeared in 10 games last season, registering seven defensive tackles and 14 special teams tackles.

Shortill began his CFL career with the Montreal Alouettes, who selected him in the second round, No. 13 overall, in the 2015 CFL draft.

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