After six seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, all-star linebacker Reggie Hunt is moving on to Montreal after signing as a free agent. Hunt had become a fan favourite here in Saskatchewan, but his pending departure seemed inevitable after a 2007 season that was fairly mediocre by Hunt's standards. As a result Eric Tillman offered Hunt a reduced salary to return next year whereas Hunt was looking for an increase. There was some speculation that there was more to Hunt leaving than just money. Well that speculation is plain wrong, and if you want proof of that look no further than the fact that Reggie "Le Reaper" Hunt (as I will now call him) stated that he will continue to live in Regina in the offseason.
While I'm glad Reggie will continue to be a resident of our fair city, I hope he realizes that things will change drastically now that he is not a Roughrider. His neighbours may not be so quick to offer to clear his driveway in the winter, people who pass him on the street may not be as quick to offer a kind word and so on. And does Reggie honestly think that his offseason job in Human Resources at Sasktel won't be affected? I mean when he was a Rider I'm sure requests for time off were granted without a thought and occasional slips in productivity could be forgiven because, come on, this is The Reaper were talking about. But now days off may be few and far between and any minute slips in output will surely be documented on his personnel file. Just imagine Reggie's surprise when his boss call's him into his office for a meeting.
"Look Reggie, you've been a valued member of SaskTel for awhile now. But lately your production has been slipping. As you know it's a tight budget year in Human Resources, and given your years of service you are high on the pay scale. We've decided we need to let you go and bring in someone younger, faster and cheaper. Reggie... we're replacing you with Anton McKenzie."
In other Rider news, Eric Tillman was once again busy wheeling and dealing as another trade was announced. This trade, however, is not likely to incite the hateful reaction the last trade did. The Riders sent Nathan Hoffart to the Argos in exchange for Canadian offensive lineman Steve Morley. Is this a good trade you ask? Well let me break it down for you... Both players are former 1st round Canadian draft choices (Hoffart 7th overall in '05 and Morley 1st Overall in '03). The difference is that since the draft Hoffart has been injury prone and has only 1 reception and very few games to his name. Morley, on the other hand, was busy trying out and playing in the NFL in addition to some CFL experience. Toss in the fact that we have an abundance of Canadian receivers and you quickly realize that this was a good trade. While I mean no disrespect to Hoffart and wish him all the best, I'm just saying that I would gladly take a player who caught the eye of the NFL over a player who's biggest accomplishment so far is spending more time than anyone with Ivan Gutfriend.
Now let's get you caught up around the league with CFL Ins and Outs
In: Tony Tompkins (free agent)
Out: Timothy Strickland (released), Steve Charboneau (retired)
When Jim Popp is scouting players, he looks for people that will be a good fit with the team dynamics. To Popp signing Tompkins was a no brainer... he's an underperformer who is used to playing for a coach who has no idea what he's doing. He'll fit in perfectly in Montreal.
Out: Pat Woodcock (released)
I'll admit that when I first read the headline "Eskimos cut Woodcock" I assumed that the article would be about northern indigenous people making artistic carvings. It turned out the article was actually about a washed up team releasing an even more washed up player. My mistake.
In: Zeke Moreno and Richie Williams (sign extensions)
Now I was really surprised by this announcement. Not because it's a bad move. Moreno was a defensive force last year and Williams showed glimmers of greatness. No, I was surprised because thus far the Ti-Cats business plan has apparently been to trade away any remotely talented player who didn't decide to leave on their own. This seems to fly in the face of that policy.
Out: Marc Boerigter (released)
I think Adam Rita might have finally clued in to the fact that signing old veterans that have been cut by other teams (i.e. Darrell Mitchell, Troy Davis, Robert Edwards, and Boerigter) is not a good way to build a championship caliber team. To be fair though Dominique Dorsey was cut by the Bombers and he turned into a Special Teams Player of the Year nominee. I guess that just proves that if you throw enough shit at a wall something is bound to stick.