Considering that Maurice Price came to the Ottawa Redblacks in a trade, it is perhaps fitting that his time with the team ended the same way.
After being brought into the Nation’s Capital on a deal that saw LB Jasper Simmons sent to Calgary, Price finished the 2015 season with a career high 58 catches, good for 603 yards and 1 TD.
Despite being the first of the “Fab Five” receivers added to the roster by GM Marcel Desjardins last off-season, Price never really seemed to develop any kind of chemistry with QB Henry Burris. Price, an athletic speedster known for taking the top off of defences, struggled to find his place in Jason Maas’ system, spending the majority of the year as the 5th WR on the depth chart.
Out of the 18 games he played in, Price averaged just 10.4 yards per catch, only managed to pick up more than 50 yards on three occasions and cracked the 100 yard mark once. In addition to finishing the year as the sole starting receiver with less than 1000 yards, Price also failed to stretch the field, with his longest two catches of the season coming in at gains of 37 and 32 yards respectively.
When you combine his poor production with his propensity for bragging about his salary on social media, it’s not hard to understand why the Redblacks decided to trade Price (and a 6th round pick) to the Saskatchewan GREENWHITES for 6th and 7th round picks in the upcoming 2016 draft.
The fact of the matter is, no team in the CFL can afford to pay $160,000 to a receiver so far down on its depth chart. Frankly, Price probably would’ve been cut anyways, so Desjardins did well to get something for a likely roster cut. Further to that point, the original press release tweeted out by OSEG (which has since been deleted) was titled “Redblacks Release Maurice Price.”
Somebody forgot to change the header on the press release when #Riders called at last minute offering a 7th. #CFL pic.twitter.com/B7eOQ5vyTW
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) January 11, 2016
To call a spade a spade, on Ottawa’s part, this move was purely a salary dump, and really, who can blame them? By ridding themselves of Price’s heavy contract, the Redblacks not only free up valuable cap space to re-sign pending free agents (such as DL Justin Capicciotti), but they also create an opportunity for a promising receiver such as Khalil Paden, Scott Macdonell, Jake Harty, Alex Pierzchalski or Philip Enchill to step up.
For Price, Saskatchewan offers an opportunity to start anew, after being a cap casualty for the second consecutive off-season. For the Redblacks, the trade moves them up eight spots in the 6th round and nets an extra 7th round pick in the 2016 draft.
Sounds like a win for both parties, doesn’t it?