Canadian OL Dariusz Bladek wants to be back with Riders, even after being benched for West Final

Screenshot courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Canadian offensive lineman Dariusk Bladek did not dress for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West Final.

But Bladek still wants to be back playing on the prairies.

“I really wanted to be out there with my guys, there’s been a lot of success with me on the field with my unit and my players. We lost to a team that I thought we were perfectly capable of beating,” Bladek told The Rod Pedersen Show.

“And then on top of that, I knew I wasn’t re-signed and especially how things ended, I wasn’t sure on where that’s going to go. Honestly, the one unfortunate situation where I didn’t really get to play too much towards the end of the season for whatever the reason may be.”

Bladek was a second round selection, 11th overall during the 2017 CFL draft. He dressed for 11 games in 2019, starting eight at either left or right guard. The 25-year-old has played in 45 games for the Riders during his first CFL contract, which was a three-year deal.

“You just don’t know when that might become a visitor place instead of a home. You didn’t expect to lose and when it’s over, it’s over,” Bladek said.

“I want to be back. I would like to be back in Saskatchewan. I feel like there’s been many years we’ve came up short. I love what we got going on there.”

The Florida native played his football at Bethune-Cookmam University and became a Canadian citizen in 2016 after he casually mentioned to a Calgary Stampeders scout that his mother Joyce was born north of the border. Bladek is a pending free agent and a valuable commodity as a national with starting experience.

“We have started talks but it’s very, very little right now,” Bladek said. “We’re still waiting on our first offer from them. I’m hoping that it’s good one and we can work something out.”