Two weeks ago, I posted that the Montreal Alouette's were rumoured to be over the salary cap and would be forfeiting a draft pick. Turns out I was right, they are losing a pick (honestly, I'm as surprised as you are about being right). Their loss is the Riders gain - with their forfeiture, our 5th overall pick will be upgraded to 4th overall, which is awesome news!
As per a deal signed off by the GMs, Montreal would lose the 4th overall pick. Saskatchewan, BC, Winnipeg and Montreal's other pick would be bumped up a spot. Nothing in Rounds 2-6 would be affected. So far it all makes logical sense... but logic and sense seem to stop there. For some reason, Hamilton will be awarded the 8th overall pick due to waiver priority... I don't understand why you wouldn't just skip Montreal's first round selection and proceed as normal. Why should Hamilton be just awarded this bonus pick? Because they finished in last place? Well guess what... they were already rewarded for their futility with the first selection in each round. I thought the idea was to punish Montreal, not reward Hamilton. While the bonus pick does not negatively affect any of the other teams it does seem to unnecessarily favour the Ti-Cats.
To express my disgust towards the situation, I've developed a list of things that make about as much sense as giving Hamilton an extra first round pick because another team went over the cap: a Baha Men comeback tour, Schindler's List: The Musical, a 50th Anniversary Edition Ford Edsel, a canoe with speed holes, a two-story outhouse, America's fascination with NASCAR, re-useable toilet paper and the Stampeders defensive schemes.
I guess, the one thing I do like about this whole situation is that everyone benefits except the two Alberta teams and Toronto. The Riders, Lions and Bombers all have their pick upgraded, Hamilton gets a bonus pick, and heck, even though they lost a pick, Montreal benefits somewhat as their other 1st round selection is moved up a spot. The Stamps and Esks get nothing as their draft picks are too high to benefit from the bumping and Toronto is an afterthought since they don't even have a 1st round pick. As much as I don't like the idea of Hamilton getting a bonus pick, I must say that I find some comfort in the fact that the 2 "centres of the Canadian universe" don't get a damn thing.
Apparently the Als are trying to fight this with the league. The dispute boils down to whether Steve Charbonneau's salary should count against the cap. Charbonneau developed an illness in training camp and was unable to play football, but rather than cut him the Als decided to keep him on the roster so he could maintain medical benefits. So the Als apparently want an allowance made for the extenuating circumstances. I agree with the Als on this one... if only there were some way to keep a player on your roster but not have his salary count against the cap... Oh wait the league already has such a thing; - it's called the 9 game injured reserve! So good luck trying to get this exemption when you're "extenuating circumstances" essentially boil down to the fact that your GM is a moron.
Now here's some other notable Rider news...
The Roughriders held their Annual General Meeting this past weekend. The meeting mainly highlighted the team's financials successes this past season but there were also a few bits of information that were noteworthy. First off, Board of Director's Chair Rob Pletch revealed that one of our conditions for approving the conditional franchise in Ottawa is that they couldn't use the name "Rough Riders". Good move on the part of the board. Second, Eric Tillman made a point of saying that he has notified Hamilton that's he's interested in the 1st overall pick in the draft. Now Tillman has been trying to swing a deal for the pick for a month now so this isn't really news, but the fact that he made a point of saying it at the AGM should tell you something. ET isn't a guy who talks because he likes the sound of his voice, he means everything he says. Like remember when he said that we could win with Marcus Crandell at QB? He wasn't just saying that to make small talk, he was saying that because he intended to trade Kerry Joseph and start Crandell. So when ET makes a point of saying publicly that he's interested in the #1 pick, it says to me, he has every intention of getting it. So with the draft only 9 days away, don't be surprised to see him swing a big deal in the near future.
KK Kuffed... Again
Former Rider Kenton Keith was arrested Sunday morning outside a club in Indianapolis. He was released from jail this morning but was charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Apparently this all stems from KK refusing to leave the parking lot of a club at the end of the night when asked by security, as well as helping a 19 year-old get into the bar. While I don't think this is as big a deal as it will be made out to be... it's yet another run in with the law for a guy who was supposed to have cleaned up his act and a sign that KK hasn't yet learned his lesson.
Things are going to be different this time around for KK. Last time he had a run in with the law, he was our all-star running back and nearly impossible to replace, so he had the team's support. Now's he's a run of the mill back-up RB in the NFL where there are dozens of possible replacements at a moments notice, so the Colts likely won't offer the same level of support. Now I like Kenton and think he's a phenomenal talent but just ask Pacman Jones how far talent will get you if you're constantly in trouble with the law.