‘We don’t ever leave money just sitting there’: GM Jeremy O’Day confirms Riders will spend to the cap in 2022

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

As Regina prepares to host the 2022 Grey Cup in November, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will spend as much as they can to get there.

During the week of the negotiation window with pending CFL free agents, Riders general manager Jeremy O’Day has confirmed as much. The only problem is even he doesn’t know what that final number will be.

“We’re in a CBA year”, O’Day said from Las Vegas where he’s scouting prospects at the East-West Shrine Bowl. “The salary cap hasn’t been set because we’re going to still work through a collective bargaining agreement.”

It creates a unique challenge typical of operating in the universe of trying to run a CFL franchise. O’Day looks to upper management for a projection on where that salary cap will ultimately end up.

“I just look for guidance from Craig Reynolds, he’s in discussions with that,” O’Day said. He gives me my salary cap budget or where he thinks I should be and what we do is we try to get within that range.”

Despite the battering the COVID-19 pandemic has laid on the Riders financial situation, their GM insists the green and white are all in to win.

“As per every year, we spend to the cap. We don’t ever leave money just sitting there,” O’Day said. “We’ll spend to the cap and we’re always aggressive to get to that number and as close to that number as possible.”

The cap for last season was $5.35 million dollars per team, but franchises aimed for the minimum expenditure at $4.75 million for 2021. With the current CBA set to expire in May, the floor and ceiling numbers for 2022 are still up in the air.

It remains to be seen how the room freed up from Cody Fajardo’s restructured contract can be used to keep Duke Williams in Saskatchewan. The Rider GM wouldn’t say how close he or the Riders are to announcing a contract extension with the star receiver who has told his Twitter followers that he’ll make his plans known to the public this week.

Rider fans, and probably O’Day too, have their fingers crossed  while hoping that Williams will re-sign and use the cap number they’ve allotted for the playmaking pass catcher.