The first game Charleston Hughes looked for when he got his hands on the 2021 CFL schedule was the Toronto Argonauts against his former Saskatchewan Roughriders.
After contract negotiations reached an impasse with Riders’ general manager Jeremy O’Day, Hughes joined the Double Blue.
“September 17. I’m already a step ahead, you can check that off on the schedule and circle it — make sure I destroy that team,” Hughes said on The Rod Pedersen Show.
That fall Friday night Hughes travels with the Argos to visit Mosaic Stadium for his Regina return after producing two CFL all-star seasons for the green and white. The 37-year-old played 34 games for Saskatchewan and totaled 31 sacks while consistently disrupting the opposing quarterback.
“It’ll be that much better, especially because I think the fans of Saskatchewan felt like I should be here and they saw the situation, it was out of my control. There was nothing I could do about a situation like that,” Hughes said.
“Funds are tight one end and you unleash the funds for certain players, but you hold it tight for other players. And, obviously I wasn’t one of those players to unleash it for, so I gotta move on and do what’s best for me and my family.”
Hughes was scheduled to earn $157,500 in 2020 from the Riders, however, he only received $10,000 due to the CFL season being cancelled. For 2021, Hughes has a base salary of $73,000 with the hard money total checking in at $155,000, including a $50,000 signing bonus from the Argos.
“I wouldn’t sign a contract that I don’t like, but I signed something that I was comfortable with. Whether they overpaid or underpaid, everybody got paid what they wanted,” Hughes said.
“They got championship calibre players that are willing to go balls to the wall to win a championship. That’s what people are seeing and they think it’s just purchasing, the players want to play where they want to win.”