February 14, 2013

Remaining Riders likely to test free agent waters


CFL.ca Staff

REGINA – It looks like Brendan Taman is all set to playing the waiting game.  At least it seems that way for the Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager who stated Thursday that it is unlikely that he will be able to extend any of his potential free agents before Friday’s Noon deadline.

Defensive back Tryon Brackenridge, CB Chris McKenzie, LB Shomari Williams and DE Odell Willis headline the list of those likely to seek a bidding war for their services.

It seems like the one that may be the furthest away from reaching a new deal in Riderville is Williams who may be looking to re-define his role elsewhere.

“Everyone has their own situation. Shomari’s specific situation is he wants to be a starter and play and I’m not sure we are able to give him that right now”, Taman said.  “I don’t blame him at all for doing what he needs to do and we will see what develops for him on the market”.

The leader of the Riders brass makes it very clear that his priority is to retain Williams and the rest of the soon-to-be free agents but

“We are aware of everything that is going on with them and we will see how it goes.”

Williams enters free agency with significant leverage.  An athletic and versatile defender, he is a ratio breaker should he be able to start and there are more than a few teams interested in bringing a linebacker that can also rush the quarterback.

One thing that Taman knows for sure is that he will not be nearly as busy with the players outside of his roster this year compared to a year ago when he nabbed arguably the top two offensive linemen available.

In 2012, the Riders were coming off a year where they missed the playoffs.  This year, Taman feels there is not as much need to make moves just for the sake of them especially when he abides by the philosophy that free agency doesn’t define his club.

“To a degree I don’t think the field itself is as strong as last year”, Taman said.  “There are still some names that we want to go after…but probably not to the extent of what we did last year.  A lot of the guys that are important to us are our own guys.