Thursday 25 February 2010

Where in the World is Kenton Keith?

A little history lesson. In 2008, following the NFL cuts in August, the Tiger-Cats announced they had signed former Saskatchewan Roughriders Running Back Kenton Keith. This came a year after the Ti-Cats made a similar splash by signing former CFL MOP Casey Printers. As we all know, the Printers experiment failed miserably in Hamilton, and after two lackluster seasons Printers was let go.

It looks like the Cats have gone 0 for 2 with mid-season star acquisitions because since signing with the Tabbies, Kenton Keith has pretty much been invisible. This is not entirely Keith's fault. He never played a snap in 2009, after sustaining an injury in training camp, and was replaced in the starting lineup by Terry Caulley, who was injured in a Week 1 loss to the Argonauts at Ivor Wynne. Caulley was in turn replaced by Tre Smith, who was also injured in the loss to Toronto. When the Week 2 matchup against the Lions in BC rolled around the only RB wearing Black & Gold was little-known DeAndra' Cobb. Cobb would explode for 175 total yards (rushing and receiving) and score a touchdown in the Cats' 31-28 victory.

After that game Cobb would remain the starter and go on to amass 1,759 total yards (1,217 rushing and 542 receiving) and 8 total TDs (5 rushing, 3 receiving). He became the latest in a long line of successful Tiger-Cats rushers and quickly became a fan favourite in Hamilton.

With Cobbs' success last season where does that leave Keith, the aforementioned big-name signing of 2008? Right now, Keith is still under contract to the Tabbies, but his days in Black & Gold must be nearing an end. While his talent is undeniable he unfortunately never had the opportunity to showcase his skills in Hamilton for the Tiger-Cats. I would be stunned, stunned, if he is still in a Ti-Cats uniform come training camp. Hell, I'm stunned he's still in a Tiger-Cats uniform now! While I would love for the team to keep him and pair him with Cobb (imagine how dangerous that combination would be for opposing defenses), I just do not see a scenario where they keep Keith, mostly due to his hefty contract. Keith is being paid like an upper-echelon player, and he has not performed as such during his tenure with the Cats.

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