The Calgary Stampeders have been the envy of the Canadian Football League for the past couple of seasons. Their problem, however, has been to find enough footballs to keep all their quarterbacks happy.
The three-man rotation of Kevin Glenn, Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell has netted the team 26 wins and a Grey Cup berth over the last two years.
Don’t be shocked if that three-man rotation ends once the Expansion Draft begins in Ottawa on Monday.
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It is expected the Stampeders will protect rising star Bo Levi Mitchell from the grasps of the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The move makes sense on so many fronts. He’s young, he’s eager and he is full of tremendous promise.
Not to mention the fact that he had a gaudy completion percentage of 69.6 and 10 touchdown passes in 2013. Undoubtedly Ottawa has their eyes on those impressive numbers.
After that, General Manager Marcel Desjardins has some big choices to make.
Do they take the talented, but injury-prone Drew Tate? After three straight seasons of being on the injured list for an extended period, Ottawa may be wary about taking someone with that type of history.
One big bonus in Tate’s favour is the fact he is in the middle of his career and would have something to prove, if he is chosen by Ottawa.
The other and safer choice for Ottawa would be Kevin Glenn.
Glenn has been the steady hand at the tiller for the Stamps in place of the oft-injured Tate. He is productive and has veteran savvy that an expansion team could use. Glenn’s easy-going persona would smooth the inevitable choppy waters that an expansion franchise will face.
The Stampeders would not be surprised if they lost one of those quarterbacks in the draft.
Calgary has already been planning for the roster shakeup that will accompany the draft.
Like other Canadian Football League teams, the Stampeders have a long list of potential free agents -20 in total.
The Stampeders also looked ahead to the Expansion Draft during the 2013 CFL Draft in the spring. It was then that they used their top draft choice on Texas-El Paso offensive lineman Brander Craighead.
The team did not sign him as they did not wish to expose him to potential claim.
It is very likely the Stampeders will use several of their non-import protected slots on keeping their offensive line together. However there are several players with Canadian Football League experience who may be exposed to claim.
Ottawa must decide on spending a draft choice on these players but also be assured they would uproot themselves for a new opportunity in a new setting.
The Stampeders are also likely to keep their receiving core together. However, that also means many receivers with some level of CFL experience will be eligible for selection. Which way does Ottawa want to go?
Calgary is also hoping their all-star tandem of kickers remain in tact. Place kicker Rene Paredes and punter Rob Maver give the Stampeders as capable a duo that exists in the league.
Like all other member clubs, the Stamps are eagerly awaiting the selection process to begin.
Mark Stephen is Sports Director of CHQR Radio in Calgary and has broadcast Calgary Stampeder games since 1996. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkonFootball.