John Hufnagel spoke to the media ahead of Tuesday’s free agent deadline and a murky picture became a little clearer.
While there was news of signings on the defensive line, Junior Turner and Ese Mrabure have re-signed, there was also some news about the one remaining starting spot on the offensive line as well.
“They have not been offered contracts.” Hufnagel said when asked specifically about Randy Richards and jack-of-all-trades Spencer Wilson. This means that, as the Stampeders have a number of interior lineman, it will be free agency, the draft, or a player yet to be signed that fills the right hand side protecting the as-yet-unknown QB under centre.
Hufnagel has typically been quiet on the first day of free agency. In fact, two years ago, both PR people for the Stamps, Jean Lefebvre and Molly Campbell, were on my podcast on the day free agency opened as they were sure they wouldn’t be busy.
That may change this year. While the CFL waits for the domino known as Bo Levi Mitchell to fall, it is holding up some other contracts. Hufnagel expressed some frustration with that.
“I thought I had a couple deals done, then the player went AWOL.” Hufnagel said after being asked if some players were holding out to find out who would be under centre.
No elaboration came on whether that included the receiving corps which largely remains unsigned. Juwan Brescacin and Lemar Durant are two large names in national receiver depth, especially with Durant coming off a Most Outstanding Canadian award in the 106th Grey Cup. Eric Rogers, Chris Matthews and Bakari Grant all come to mind as well.
The Stampeders nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Micah Johnson seems all but destined to hit the market as well.
“Micah’s had his offer for a couple weeks now,” Hufnagel said.
“He wants to go to free agency, so we’ll see how that goes. I probably can’t use the word optimistic when it comes to Micah.”