Riders’ Craig Dickenson calls Cody Fajardo to quell concerns about lack of communication

Photo: Paul Swanson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Cody Fajardo’s concerns about having no communication with the Saskatchewan Roughriders since the regular season have drawn a response from the team’s head coach.

Craig Dickenson became aware of Fajardo’s recent remarks from The Rod Pedersen Show in which the Riders’ quarterback — at least until free agency — complained about having no communication with the team since the season ended, describing the situation as “unfortunate.”

As Dickenson said on a recent edition of Rider Radio on 620 CKRM and then reiterated to the local media on Wednesday, he recently called Fajardo in an effort to ease his concerns.

“I reached out to him after that just to say hello,” Dickenson said. “The reality is we have end-of-the-year meetings with everybody, including Cody. A lot of the time we don’t talk to our guys until after the holidays, but I called him and wished him a happy holiday.”

“I kind of told him where we were at with our offensive coordinator search. I don’t know if we’d hired Kelly (Jeffrey) at that point yet. I don’t believe we had and just told him there’s going to be some input by the offensive coordinator of what direction we go in free agency and Cody knows he’s going to be in free agency and I think he knows that he’s going to test it out.”

Fajardo’s jilted tone didn’t seem to bode well for the possibility of a reunion in the new year, though Dickenson made it clear the Riders have not moved on from the veteran quarterback — at least not yet.

Jeffrey accepted the offensive coordinator position on Monday after serving as the team’s running backs coach this past season. He spoke to the media this week and indicated that he believes the team could win a Grey Cup with Fajardo under centre, calling him a “tough kid” who “plays hard.”

“I didn’t want him to feel like we had forgotten about him because we hadn’t but there just wasn’t a lot to tell him at the time,” said Dickenson. “Our offensive coordinator is going to have a big say in what direction we go at quarterback. I have an opinion, (general manager) Jeremy (O’Day) has got an opinion, but our OC is going to get some say in that, so Cody’s status is he’s still under contract with us and we’ll go from there.”

It remains to be seen if the relationship between the Roughriders and their once-upon-a-time resident rockstar can be salvaged, but early returns from this off-season would suggest change could be on the horizon.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.