Is this a sneak peak of the new Ticats jerseys?

Matt Belanger (Twitter handle @belanger870) apparently wandered by the new flagship store at Tim Hortons Field and found a small crack in the paper covering the windows and produced this Zapruder-quality image of what appears to be the new Ticats jerseys:

NewTicatJerseys copy

You can see the Adidas tags dangling off the jersey, an Adidas label at the back of the neck and what looks to me like a new CFL logo at the base of the collar. Other than that, there do not appear to be – from this grainy image, anyway – significant changes to the jersey. Still the basic Black and Gold colour scheme with the three stripes on the sleeve.

As a reminder, here’s what they look like now…

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There are some subtle differences – no yellow neck trim – but it tracks with what I (and several others) have been hearing over the last while: that the Ticats won’t be making significant changes this time around.

The official launch is on Thursday.

In other news:

• there are reports that the Saskatchewan Roughriders have agreed to terms with former Ticats defensive end Eric Norwood and that he’s on his way to Regina for a physical. That’s got a few people asking: if the Riders are willing to sign Norwood and pay him while recuperates, why didn’t the Ticats?

Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, as I wrote last week, Norwood’s deal with Hamilton was in the $90,000 range and there’s no guarantee he’s been able to replicate that with the Riders. Norwood said he’d heard from several teams after his release – and I believe that’s true – so that could help drive up his value but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a more incentive-laden contract.

Also, the Riders were 3-15 last season, have a new regime in place – one that couldn’t bring their neg lists with them – and are clearly looking to upgrade their talent level. The Ticats were a play or two away from a third straight Grey Cup appearance and are now in Year Four of the Austin/Tillman/Burke/Allemang regime (and yes, it’s all four guys plus input from others in football operations and the coaching staff.) The two teams are simply at different stages of their player development cycle.

None of which will matter to fans if Norwood shows up here on Aug. 20 and registers three sacks and returns a fumble for a score (which is completely within the realm of possibility.) I get that. But I’m just saying the Ticats had their reasons for releasing Norwood, and they make sense, as does the Riders decision to sign him (assuming it happens.)

• former Ticats defensive back Donald Washington has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Washington played in eight games over two seasons with the Ticats, including five starts last season. He was one of a number of the players the Ticats tried at boundary corner last season when he made five starts. If I remember correctly, teams went at him a little bit (seven tackles versus the Argos on Aug. 3), he got hurt, went on PR when he came back and was then released. Anyway, good for him. The NFL game is different.

• Didier Ormejuste of RDS tweeted yesterday that none of the plethora of CFL prospects who went to the N.Y. Giants rookie camp this weekend were offered contracts. That should help their CFL Draft stock.

• if you haven’t been following our CFL Draft Preview series, you should be. The guys have breaking down each team’s Canadian talent, then using that to determine draft needs. I’ve been learning a ton of stuff about the quality of each team’s nationals, which I would argue is one of the leading indicators of success – only quarterback play is more important. Most CFL fans – even the hardcore ones – don’t pay much attention to the draft because there aren’t many recognizable names. Given it’s importance, that’s too bad.