Ticats closing in on deal with Andy Fantuz, says Austin

As far as hints go, it wasn’t exactly subtle.

Speaking to the media after the team’s first mini-camp session at Tim Hortons Field on Tuesday, Hamilton Tiger-Cats general manager and head coach Kent Austin left the strong impression that the team is close to an agreement with free agent Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz.

“I think we’ll have some pretty good news here soon,” Austin said. “We’ll just leave it at that.”

The 33-year-old Fantuz set a career high in catches in 2016 and had already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving when he tore his ACL on an innocent looking play in an Oct. 28 game against the Edmonton Eskimos. He had surgery a month later Ticat quarterback Zach Collaros says his recovery is looking good.

“Talking to him about his rehab, I know he’s doing extremely well… I think he’s running right now,” Collaros said. “I have no doubt that he’s going to come back and be ready to play. When I don’t know but when he does, he’s going to be effective for us.”

While it’s unlikely that Fantuz would be ready to start the season – Labour Day is probably a more realistic target – Collaros says Fantuz can be helpful during

“I love the guy as a teammate, as a friend. He’s just a great guy to have in the locker room and the meeting room and I think he’s invaluable to us,” Collaros said. “He understands our offence inside and out and he can teach it,” He’s had so much success in this league, guys just kind of gravitate to him.”

Fantuz lives in Burlington and has roots in nearby Chatham – he also attended the University of Western Ontario in London – so remaining in the area makes sense on a personal level as well.

“We want him to be here and Andy wants to be here and we’re just working through the situation,” Austin said. “But I think we’re going to come to a pretty positive conclusion shortly.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1312 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

26 Comments on Ticats closing in on deal with Andy Fantuz, says Austin

  1. mrnehnehincognito // April 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm //

    Kinda of injury proned. Don’t think this is a great signing at all

    • MarcusCrandell2007 // April 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm //

      Productive when he is on the field though. Could be a good mentor for young guys, especially Vandervoort if he goes there. For the right price, great signing.

  2. CFLRheal // April 25, 2017 at 4:49 pm //

    I can see the Ti-Cats being prudent with Andy. Perhaps a 2 year deal @ $400K per?

    • Bob knows. // April 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

      400K PER YEAR!!!! There is NO WAY he is even asking for that.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm //

      that is ridiculous.

    • Fantuz was on the FA list since Jan and no other team put a bid in, he won’t be back until at least Labour Day and no one knows if he can run as fast or cut to get open.
      I would imagine that his worth has gone down considerably and he will be signing a much lower contract.

  3. Dario Cueto // April 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

    Hey yo, the Dario Cueto says why are the TiCats doing this ???

  4. Andy will be signed to base contract $80-90 with bonuses each game played…only way it would work for both parties

  5. This is good news. Andy can certainly be a great leader on the team until he’s able to get on the field.

  6. Lindsay Wilcox // April 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm //

    Ticats are probably offering the same sort of contract Andy got when first signed: a base salary PLUS so much per game played.

  7. moncton ticats fan // April 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm //

    I like this, as I think Andy still has something (just not sure how much?) left in the tank. Let’s all get on board and support this very good Canadian player, who likely wants to retire as a Ticat-when that time comes. I think his team mates need him both in the room and on the sideline, or making catches over the middle.

  8. slomojo2005 // April 25, 2017 at 6:58 pm //

    Letz get on with the signing already. Sounds like Andy is well on his way. He will be the most enthusiastic guy on squad when he returns. Will make continue to make invaluable contributions.

  9. TicatQ93 // April 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm //

    Hopefully we don’t pass on drafting Vandervoort because we signed Fantuz

  10. Dario Cueto // April 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm //

    Hey yo, the Dario Cueto says let the Andy Fantuz sign with the Argos instead. Dude is well past his prime and one more more injury away from realizing it himself. Hopefully whatever contract he signs doesn’t prevent the TiCats from signing a decent kicker … survey says … one more for the bad guy !!!

  11. DundasDude // April 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm //

    Makes sense for Fantuz to sign as a cat. Can’t wait for summer. Go Cats. Cats are gonna win the Cup, Andy.

  12. The Iceman // April 25, 2017 at 9:10 pm //

    BAHAHAHAHAHA to people saying he is well passed his prime.
    So 101 catches last year were a mirage i guess. Without Collaros for most of the season.
    Dude set his career high in catches and he is well passed his prime.

    • Thank you someone with some sence. Even if he got half that he is clutch in 2nd down situations. He’s a Canadian at a skilled position and a smart vet. He will sign for close to the league min. How can any of that hurt the team. He will help mentor the new guys and will help on the sidelines until he can play!

      • Plus Remember if he stays on IR for x # of games his salary doesn’t count against the cap. That will leave room for them to pick up a student for Fantuz to mentor. Save him for Labour Day, the real season doesn’t start until then.

  13. Hey yo, Dario Cueto is a chooch.

  14. Fantuz options are very limited I’m sure due to his injuries. It most likely is TiCats or zippo. Hope things work out for both parties concerned.

  15. Good. Injury prone, yes…but reliable in the clutch. Too bad he can’t play defence for the TC’s – clutch players there are in high demand.

  16. Joe King // April 26, 2017 at 7:31 am //

    If the team signs Johnny Aprile Andy should be a sure thing.

  17. Alex Droho // April 26, 2017 at 8:44 am //

    Fantuz will be a great mentor for Vandervoort and Aprile. Draft is May 7th

  18. Fantuz under scrutiny is the greatest player in the modern era of the CFL and the smartest move the Tiger-Cats have made in many years.Toast to the giant.

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