Insider Talk: Collaros’ bonus, QB landing spots, Calgary’s ‘absolute stud’

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Zach Collaros’ signing bonus with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton’s potential search for a veteran quarterback, Calgary’s “absolute stud” along the offensive line, B.C.’s salary cap situation following the retirement of Michael Reilly, and the future of 2022 CFL Draft prospect Tre Ford.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next Wednesday for another edition of Insider Talk.

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A sign of the times: (Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback) Zach Collaros only got an $87,000 signing bonus. Three years ago that would have been $300,000 easily, probably more. As a league, we’re just not structuring deals like we used to.

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Make no mistake: Edmonton is still very much in the market for a veteran quarterback. Everyone’s talking about what Ottawa and B.C. will do now that (Michael) Reilly’s retired, but Edmonton should be just as much a part of that conversation.

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(Calgary Stampeders’ right tackle) Julian Good-Jones is an absolute stud. I still think (Stanley) Bryant and (Jermarcus) Hardrick in Winnipeg were a little better (in 2021), but it won’t be long before Good-Jones is making all-star.

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B.C. is saving a ton of money against the cap with Reilly no longer on the roster. If they’re smart, they’ll spend it along the defensive line. I know they’ve tried to address that need in past years but the problem was the top talent didn’t hit the market. This year I think there will be a few elite guys available.

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There’s no reason from a physical standpoint why (recently-released B.C. Lions’ receiver) Lemar Durant can’t have a great year in 2022. He’s still pretty young. He just needs to be locked in.

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If TSN has any sense, they’ll hire Michael Reilly. He’d be perfect on those broadcasts. He’s smart, well-spoken, he knows the game, and fans care about what he has to say.

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(Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defensive tackle) Micah Johnson isn’t the player he used to be but he still might be the strongest player in the league. He’s not going to put up ten sacks again, but good luck moving him off the ball. It’s damn near impossible.

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(2022 CFL Draft prospect) Tre Ford is an elite athlete. Do I see him as an every-down quarterback in the CFL? Honestly, I don’t think that matters. He’s a player you can get on your roster who can do a bunch of things to help you win. He’s athletic enough to make an impact wherever you put him, whether it’s throwing, running or catching the ball.