Heenan, Riders still negotiating | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

Ian Hamilton
Leader Post

REGINA -- Ben Heenan isn't getting antsy.

Heenan, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies offensive lineman whom the Saskatchewan Roughriders selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2012 CFL draft, has yet to sign with the team.

But the 22-year-old product of Grand Coulee expects something to happen before the Roughriders' rookie camp opens next Wednesday.

"Between Mr. (Brendan) Taman (Saskatchewan's general manager) and my agent (Dan Vertlieb), they'll get it figured out," Heenan said Wednesday. "I have lots of faith in both of them.

"It's something I'm not really worried about," he added. "I have full confidence it'll get done before camp. Obviously I'm not Dan's only client and I'm sure I'm not Mr. Taman's only player that still has to sign. It's just a matter of sorting through all the paperwork and getting it hammered out."

In fact, none of the Roughriders' four draft picks has signed as yet. Saskatchewan also selected Calgary Dinos linebacker Sam Hurl (second round, 12th overall), Sherbrooke Vert et Or linebacker Kevin Regimbald-Gagne (fifth round, 35th overall) and Sherbrooke receiver Ismael Bamba (sixth round, 39th overall) in the draft.

Taman said the week before rookie camp opens is usually when draft picks sign with their respective teams. That said, the GM noted that things have been somewhat different for every CFL team since the draft on May 3.

"A lot of teams and a lot of agents have been waiting," Taman said. "Everyone is playing this cat-and-mouse game: 'What did he get? What did he get? We're not going to sign him until we know what that guy gets.' It's ridiculous, quite frankly.

"We basically go on what guys have got in that (draft) slot over the last year or two and that's what we offer. If that isn't good enough, they don't have to sign ... I don't foresee anything going horribly wrong. It's just that it takes time."

Taman said the Roughriders are "pretty close" to signing Heenan, Hurl and Regimbald-Gagne, but negotiations with Bamba aren't going as well.

"There's a very good chance Bamba will not be in camp," Taman said. "His agent advises that (Bamba) is leaning toward going back to school, which is fine."

Heenan, however, is ready to embark on his pro career. All that remains is getting a contract done.

Heenan said he has tried to take "a laid-back approach" to the negotiations, allowing Vertlieb to handle things - even with camp getting closer by the day.

"He knows that I want to get it done, but at the same time, we want what's fair for both parties involved," Heenan said. "I'm rather certain it'll get hammered out before camp. In my opinion, nothing is pressing."

Fan Comments
Taman just holding on untill the last minute for drama affect. He hasnt missed anhting yet. as for the others I do not understand waht the holdup is. perhaps with bamb heading back to saskatchewan he may be able to get a better contract offer, But risking the chance of getting hurt to most likely making the roster this season.
May 29, 2012 - 12:33am
als rule
CS: what? your kidding right? "drama affect"? the green had enough drama last year without creating more!!
May 30, 2012 - 10:03am
3RD and 1
Seeing Ben Heenan beside a very large man like Jim Hopson and making Jim look average. Really shows you just how BIG this young Man really is! This really shouldnt even be news. This happens all the time. It's usually a week before Rookie training camp before the top draft picks get their contracts finalized. I guess it keeps us talking about the CFL.
May 28, 2012 - 6:50pm
I think Bamba should get some better advice. Why wouldn't you attend a professional training camp and apply what you've learned to your CIS year? Rob Bagg did it in 2007 and just declined the roster spot he had won.
May 26, 2012 - 8:59pm
als rule
G: don't know what's going on with the laval and sherbrooke players BUT I don't like their decisions or attitudes? all seem to think the NFL is the place to be!! don't go to a CFL TC and get hurt and ruin your chances at the NFL!! PITYFUL!!
May 27, 2012 - 9:14am
Seems to me that it would make sense to have a standard contract/pay scale for rookies, by position if necessary, that could be adjusted as a player proves his worth to the team. That would get rid of all the guesswork about what other rookies are being offered and simplify getting the draft choices signed instead of leaving them hanging on. I would also think it would be easier to manage salaries with the cap system since GMs would have a better idea how much $$ under the cap to reserve for any draft choices
May 26, 2012 - 3:43pm
A standard scale would work ONLY IF there was general consistency from year-to-year in the draft class in terms of skill, talent, and potential. There simply isn't enough consistency year-to-year to come up with a standard scale and I think set pay, other than minimum salary, is contrary to what has to be a pay for value in the CFL. I don't see that rookie contract disputes have ever been an issue even worrying about in the CFL.
May 26, 2012 - 7:25pm
als rule
R: right on!! our buddy TFmcb is always looking for the easier, softer, nicer way to address everything you know kumbyiah!!
May 27, 2012 - 9:18am
als rule
very surprising it's not signed and sealed yet!!
May 26, 2012 - 1:04pm