Last week, the Riders search for a new GM dominated the news but there was a ton of other goings on so let’s get you caught up on things.
- Though I have been quite vocal about my distain for Taman, I would like to go on record as saying I am glad that we ended up hiring Taman in light of the fact that apparently Glen Suitor was also a candidate. Yes you heard me right… Glen freaking Suitor! It’s no wonder Taman seemed like such a strong candidate if he was only up against the likes of Suitor. Hell a half eaten danish would have looked like a strong candidate by comparison.
- Bob Wylie has left the Riders to accept a job with the Denver Broncos. Wylie is a good coach and I hate to see him go. My reaction to this news went something like this.
- On the free agent front, it appears we are close to finalizing new deals with Wes Cates and Omarr Morgan. Morgan re-signing was pretty much a guarantee. Given what a resounding success his last decision to sign elsewhere was, I can’t see Omarr making that mistake again.
- QB Graham Harrell has accepted a coaching job in the NCAA with Oklahoma State. Apparently it’s only an offseason job and Harrell should still be back here for training camp.
- Word is that the Riders will open the 2010 season at home against the Alouettes on July 1st. A franchise that originated in the US, is led by a Mexican, and represents a province that has repeatedly tried to separate from Canada… yup that seems like the perfect team to be prominently featured on Canada Day.
Elsewhere in the CFL…
- Joe Mack has been named the new VP of Football Operations in Winnipeg. Though Mack has previous experience with the Bombers as well as NFL experience, there are some concerns being raised over the fact that he hasn’t worked in the CFL since 1987 and hasn’t worked in any league since 2001. Mack was quick to put those concerns to rest by stating that he has “a number of friends up here still”… well that’s reassuring. I mean Bart Andrus said the same thing when he was hired and that turned out alright.
- Speaking of the Argos, it seems Lions’ owner David Braley is on the verge of taking over the team. The current owners can’t manage to secure a new partner (go figure… the Argos seem like such a good investment). While the optics of one man owning 25% of the teams in a league are suspect at best, Braley has proven repeatedly that he has the best interest of the league in mind. Besides, given that he would own the worst franchise in each division, even if he pooled all the good players into one team it’s not like they would be all that good anyway.
- Sandro DeAngeles has worked out for the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys in recent days. Given the quality of kickers in the NFL post season, you gotta think that DeAngeles will get a contract offer… about the only way he could screw it up would be to do one of his stupid celebration dances during his tryouts.
- Ben Cahoon has no plans to retire and wants to return for a 13th season. There’s just one snag… Cahoon is entering his option and wants new deal signed before he returns. I don’t get this. Cahoon is already among the top paid players on the team and obviously the Als will keep him as long as he can still play. I’m not sure what the push is for a new deal… does he have couple new wives to support or what?
- Casey Printers is releasing a book entitled From High School to the Pros: The Ultimate Guide for the Student Athlete. That’s right for the low price of $19.95 you can learn the secrets of how to go undrafted, spend a year as 3rd stringer in the CFL until you finally get your break, when you finally do get your break turn down a $1M multi-year extension with that team on 2 occasions to go to the NFL, fail miserably in the NFL and get cut, get signed to a huge CFL contract only to fail miserably and be cut, end up unemployed and only get back into football because your old team suffered injuries to all of their QBs and where absolutely desperate. Sounds like a soon to be bestseller to me.
CFL Ins and Out
In: DL John Bowman, OL Jeff Perrett (contract extension), DL Nuvraj Bassi, OL David Bouchard, OL Scott Burley, WR Daron Clark, LB Jerrell Guyton, DL Chris Parris, LB Sam Pope, LB Neil Puffer, DE Darrell Robertson, LB Tyrell Sales, DL Lorenzo Williams (free agent signing)
Out: DL Riall Johnson (released)
While I’m still a big fan of Bassi’s beard, I think it’s safe to assume that given that it’s been 5 years since he was drafted and he has yet develop into even a serviceable back-up that the beard may be all Bassi has going for him at this point.
In: RB Brad Lester, RB Yonus Davis (free agent signing)
Out: RB Martel Mallett (signed with Philadelphia Eagles)
Wally Buono has been very secretive about his reasons for releasing Mallett (the CFL Rookie of the Year) from his contractual obligations early (a questionable move at best). While Wally isn’t giving a reason, there are some theories out there. The leading one is that Wally’s heart grew 3 sizes that day.
In: LB Malik Jackson, RB Jon Cornish, WR Blaine Kruger, LB Justin Phillips (contract extension)
In: OL Matt Morencie, WR Scott Valberg (free agent signing) DB Raymond Wladichuk (2009 draft pick signing)
So follow if you can. Morencie was drafted last year by BC but they decided to send him back to school. On his way home, he was almost swooped by Eric Tillman for the Riders but Morencie decided against it at the last minute… and now Hamilton ends up swooping him… all this fuss over a 3rd round draft pick.
Out: WR Titus Ryan (signed with Dallas Cowboys)
Ryan becomes the 4th Bomber to sign an NFL contract, more than any other team in the league. When you factor in the fact that they had one of the league’s top RBs in Fred Reid and one of the league’s most dynamic players in Jovon Johnson it makes you wonder how they managed to do so bad. Then again they did have Mike Kelly and Michael Bishop to deal with which would more than compensate for numerous talented players.