- Free Agency
CALGARY — The Stampeders and REDBLACKS have completed the first major trade of 2015 as Calgary has sent receiver Maurice Price to Ottawa in exchange for Jasper Simmons and Dan Buckner.
Price, a 29-year-old native of Orlando, is a three-year veteran of the Stampeders. Last year, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder out of Charleston Southern had 34 catches for 544 yards and two touchdowns, including a 102-yard major in the season opener for the eventual Grey Cup champs against the Alouettes at McMahon Stadium.
“We see this move as a major step forward in the improvement of our football club,” said Marcel Desjardins, general manager of the REDBLACKS. “We appreciate everything that Jasper and Dan contributed to our team.”
Mo is an explosive player who has exceptional speed and outstanding playmaking abilities,” said REDBLACKS head coach Rick Campbell. “He’s a CFL veteran who knows the league, knows the game and has a big up-side. He has the ability to come in here and make big contributions right away.”
Simmons was Ottawa’s nominee for two CFL awards in 2014 – Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player. The six-foot-one, 223-lb. alum of the University of Missouri was the RedBlacks’ leading tackler in 2014 as he made 80 stops. The 25-year-old Pensacola, Fla, product also had three interceptions, two tackles for loss, seven special-teams tackles, one forced fumble and one pass knockdown in 17 games for Ottawa.
Simmons’ first CFL experience came with the Toronto Argonauts as he appeared in five games over two seasons (2011-12). In 22 career CFL contests, he has 86 tackles, 10 special-teams tackles, five interceptions, one pass knockdown and one forced fumble.
Buckner signed with the RedBlacks on Oct. 7, 2014, and dressed for two games. The six-foot-four, 215-lb. University of Arizona alum was signed as an undrafted free agent by the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals and he spent time on both the Cardinals’ and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice rosters.
As a senior for the University of Arizona in 2012, he played 13 games and made 61 catches for 773 yards and five touchdowns. In 2011, he had 42 receptions for 606 yards and two scores. Prior to transferring to Arizona, Buckner played two seasons at the University of Texas and recorded 49 catches for 529 yards and six touchdowns.
“Jasper Simmons established himself as a valuable CFL player for Ottawa last season and I believe he will be a very nice addition to our team,” said Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “Dan Buckner is a tall, athletic receiver with very good college credentials and I look forward to seeing him at training camp.”
Price played 29 games over three seasons with the Stampeders, recording 109 catches for 1,737 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 29-year-old Orlando, Fla., native played 10 games in 2014 and had 34 receptions for 544 yards and two majors.
“I sincerely thank Mo for his contributions to the Stampeders during his time in Calgary,” said Hufnagel. “It was not an easy decision but the emergence and presence of other playmaking receivers on our roster allowed us to make this trade and acquire two potentially valuable assets.”
Charles released by Stamps
In another transaction, the Stampeders also announced that they have parted ways with seven-year CFL veteran running back, Hugh Charles.
Last season, Charles split time with both Saskatchewan (1 game) and Calgary (3 games). The Colorado product compiled 224 rushing yards on 33 carries (6.8 yards per carry) and scored a touchdown on the season.
The 5’8”193 pound back had his best game in Week 9 when he recorded 102 yards on 14 rushes to help the Stamps defeat Ottawa 32-7 on the road.
In his career, Charles has totaled 2,308 yards, averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 22 majors.