Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and former teammate Eric Rogers had a tight bond on and off the field.
That’s why when Rogers was traded, and eventually signed with the Toronto Argonauts, it felt as though Mitchell was saying goodbye to a family member.
“The one I get asked about the most is Eric. Losing Eric was like losing a brother, he’s a guy that I’ve relied on a lot in my career,” Mitchell said on the Horse Power podcast. “He’s been a guy that I’ve gone to in a lot of tough times, and you have to have that guy.”
So far Rogers has spent his entire four-year CFL career in Calgary where he won two Grey Cups alongside Mitchell. He added a league all-star selection to his resume in 2015, after catching 87 passes and leading the CFL in both receiving yards and touchdowns with 1,448 and 10 respectively.
“I’ve been blessed to be here with the Stampeders because our scouting department has somehow brought in a guy like that every single year,” Mitchell said.
Over the course of his 45-game regular season career Rogers has hauled in 217 passes for 3,176 yards and 27 majors. The six-foot-four, 215-pound pass catcher is coming off a 2019 season where he made 85 receptions for 1,080 yards and 10 touchdowns on the way to being named a West Division all-star.
“Having guys like Nik Lewis, Marquay McDaniel, DaVaris Daniels, then we lost them, Reggie [Begelton], then we lost him, and then Eric, now lost him — but [Kamar Jorden is] back and KJ’s feeling strong,” Mitchell said.
“Hergy [Mayala] is looking awesome, Hergy you’re not going to see that guy as a Canadian receiver, he’s going to be out there putting up some big, big numbers with the top guys in the league.”
Mitchell admitted it’s been hard to see a number of veteran players leave Calgary. There are going to be a lot of new names and the group overall is much younger than what the franchise pivot is used to in the locker room. He wants the remaining longtime Stamps to teach the “Stampeder way” and hopes the new-look roster can play together in 2021.
“We all feel like it’s going to happen, we know it’s going to happen, and we’re just excited to hear the announcement of when the start date is going to be,” Mitchell said.
“Hearing the rumblings of feeling like this season is really going to happen, we’re all just so excited to get back to football. I’m just ready to get back out there.”