Insider Talk: CFL players’ strike, happy veterans, could Ottawa win the East?

Photo courtesy: CFL

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 the ongoing CFL players’ strike, a possible conclusion to CBA negotiations, the status of veterans who are missing training camp, Calgary’s retirements along the offensive line, and the Ottawa Redblacks possibly bouncing all the way back to win the East Division.

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

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The veteran players must be awfully happy about this strike. For one, training camp is a grind they’re not having to put their bodies through. Then there’s the element of opportunity. All the first and second-year players looking to impress can’t do that if they don’t get an opportunity to practice. The shorter training camp is, the fewerw veterans who are going to get replaced.

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The profit from one Roughriders preseason game would cover most of what the players are asking for in a new CBA. I hope (Saskatchewan team president and CEO) Craig Reynolds is putting pressure on (Winnipeg team president and CEO) Wade Miller to get this s*** done.

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I believe we’ll have a new CBA by the end of the day on Thursday. If not, sooner.

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If Jeremiah Masoli stays healthy, Ottawa’s going to win the East Division. The way I see it, Hamilton’s taken a bit of a step back, Toronto’s not good enough at quarterback, and Montreal’s got too many cooks in the kitchen.

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I’ll give the players credit for this: the league tried to divide them and they didn’t flinch. If anything, the owners will be the more divided side by now. I hope they open the books and actually welcome the players as true partners. That’s probably unrealistic, but if the league did it I don’t think they’d regret it. As a whole, the league is awful at running its business. If you can create accountability between all invested parties, everyone will be better off. There’s fat to be trimmed and processes that can be streamlined.

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I think we’ll see a bunch of those NFL rookie mini-camp guys (offensive lineman Liam Dobson, defensive lineman Deionte Knight, defensive back Alonzo Addae, defensive back Tyrell Ford) in the CFL this year but there’s no reason for them to sign during a work stoppage. Even if their odds of getting an NFL contract are really slim, they may as well wait out the (CFL) strike.

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Calgary is really screwed along the offensive line with those two (2022 CFL Draft picks Jacob Butler and Joel Braden) retiring. They have no depth. I would not be surprised at all if they started three Americans, though they don’t have Ucambre Williams anymore (to play centre). I bet they regret losing him (to Ottawa via free agency).

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Why the f*** are you calling me about the strike? I was about to call you to tell me what’s going on.