By trading Glenn, Riders get something for nothing

Kevin Glenn

Hamilton didn’t want Kevin Glenn. Tiger-Cats head coach/general manager Kent Austin didn’t even inquire about obtaining the veteran quarterback, firm in the belief that youngster Jeff Mathews will lead his team to the Grey Cup in place of injured starter Zach Collaros.

The Montreal Alouettes knew better.

They don’t have the confidence, or the arrogance right now, of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Alouettes are desperate. They have used six quarterbacks this season and have five victories. None of those quarterbacks appear capable of helping the Alouettes qualify for the CFL playoffs. The only time they have made anyone think about Anthony Calvillo is when they’re standing on the sideline, listening to the former star QB give them instructions as Montreal’s offensive co-ordinator.

Glenn, a 15-year CFL veteran, signed as a free agent with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the offseason, joining his original CFL team as a backup to starter Darian Durant. When Durant ruptured an Achilles tendon in the season opener, Glenn took over until he suffered a torn pectoral muscle. Glenn’s return from the injury list hasn’t been awe-inspiring for a team that has fallen by the wayside with its 2-13 record.

It seemed logical Glenn would be traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, until Austin started preaching about his faith in Mathews. When the Alouettes’ parade of quarterbacks failed miserably in their last game, and they lost starter Rakeem Cato to injury, Glenn had an obvious destination. He likely fits into Montreal’s offensive schemes, plus he has the experience, confidence and likeability that should inspire his teammates.

Alouettes general manager Jim Popp, who has assumed coaching duties with his team for the fourth time, sent Saskatchewan a fifth-round draft pick for Glenn. It had to be done. Montreal needs a spark if it’s going to qualify for the postseason, likely as a wild-card qualifier in the West.

Saskatchewan didn’t need Glenn. If Durant heals completely — which is basically a 67 per cent probability — he will be Saskatchewan’s starting quarterback next season.

The Roughriders tossed rookie Brett Smith into the fire earlier this season when its veteran quarterbacks were injured. Tough as leather, with a decent arm and an indomitable spirit, Smith seems to be proving he can play in the CFL. His backup, Keith Price, may also get some playing time.

The trade was made by Jeremy O’Day, formerly Saskatchewan’s assistant general manager, who has been serving as interim GM since the Roughriders fired head coach Corey Chamblin and general manager Brendan Taman midway through the season. There’s not a huge trade market in the CFL, as shown by the paucity of deals before Wednesday’s trade deadline, but O’Day at least got something for virtually nothing.

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.