Tuesday, 30 December 2014
What to Do with Giggy and B-Stew
Arash Madani broke the news that the Tiger-Cats had tabled a contract offer to Giguère, but that it was not to his liking and if the team did not present a better offer, the former first-round pick would test free agency.
Madani also reported that Stewart would not be back next season after a subpar performance in the playoffs this season; however, those reports were disputed by Drew Edwards, who found out that Stewart’s departure might not be so imminent.
In any event, the question should now be asked: what should the Ti-Cats do with both these players? In short, let Giguère walk and bring Stewart back.
Let’s start with Giguère. The Sherbrooke product came to the CFL in 2012 amidst much fanfare and sky-high expectations. Three seasons later and he never truly lived up to those expectations. His 116 catches for 1,534 yards and three touchdowns is not exactly the type of production the team was hoping for when they finally got his signature on a contract.
Now, a lot of Giguère’s statistical problems stemmed from playing wide-side receiver – where one sees very little action – and when he was allowed to operate out of the slot, mainly when Andy Fantuz was injured, he showed the ability to produce. If Giguère were allowed to play in the slot more, he might have lived up to the hype, but as it stands he simply did not.
If he is looking for a big payday, he will have to find it elsewhere. Spending lavishly on a guy who averaged 39 catches, 514 yards and one TD per season is not wise. I am not sure how much his role would increase if he re-signed with the Ti-Cats, so what we have seen is likely what we will continue to get.
I would love to see Giguère back, but if some team – Ottawa, Montreal – is going to offer him more money and an increased role, he has to take it.
As far as Stewart is concerned, I know the sentiment among many is good riddance, but I say pump the breaks on that one. Yes, he was beat badly by S.J. Green in the East Final and didn’t perform much better in the Grey Cup, but most players who line up against the opposing team’s best receiver gets beaten.
Also, Stewart was playing in an unfamiliar position this season. He had almost exclusively played wide-side corner in Winnipeg before moving inside in his first season in Hamilton. Perhaps a move back outside would help him, and as luck would have it, the Ti-Cats are in need of a short-side corner with Delvin Breaux almost certainly signing with an NFL team. Short-side corner is not the same as wide-side, and it would still require Stewart to line up against some of the better receivers in the league, but the transition would likely not be as drastic for him as his move to defensive halfback was.
If the team does release Stewart, I am not going to be surprised, but I think he should at least be brought into camp. Whether the team tries him out at another position or if they bring in competition and force him to win the job, letting him go after just one season seems a little knee jerk to me.
What happens with both these players won’t be known for a few months, but whatever their fates are, it will have reverberations on the team as a whole.