The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed Canadian defensive back Mike Daly to a two-year contract and there’s a lot to like about the deal.
Daly has played 49 games over the last three seasons, contributing mostly on special teams (he had 13 tackles on kick coverage units last season.) But he’s good enough to get the team through a game a safety if there’s an injury and he can start in pinch: he’s made nine starts, including three this season.
The Ticats have started a Canadian safety for most of the last four years under Kent Austin and, with former all-star Craig Butler expected to return after knee surgery, will likely do so again in 2017. That would allow Courtney Stephen, who played safety most of last year, to move back to the field corner spot giving Hamilton two national starters into backfield. Daly and second-year man Jay Langa will provide valuable depth and special teams work.
Daly also has roots in the area having grown up in Kitchener and played his college ball at McMaster. For a former sixth round draft pick, he’s blossomed into quite a valuable piece – and he’s just 26. He does quite a bit of work with the team’s community programs as well.
Re-signing players in December allows the Ticats to allocate any bonus money paid to them against the 2016 salary cap, offering them the opportunity to save a little space next season. They don’t have a ton of cap room left but every little bit helps.
Daly would have been a free agent in February and it’s always possible he would have been able to get a better deal on the open market – some teams may have considered him as a possible full-time starter. But with a record number of players set to hit the market, he could have just as easily been squeezed out as teams look to spend big dollars on the marquee players. He knows his role in Hamilton and has roots in the community: it makes sense for him, too.
Just wanted to say thank you to @Ticats and Tigertown. The fans made it impossible to leave Hamilton in this process. Couldn’t be happier.
— Mike Daly (@DalyNews8) December 20, 2016