Friday 16 November 2012

Option Years and Glenn Gets His Chance

A couple of interesting tidbits came out this week that I believe deserve some comment. The first is the possibility of the league reviving the option year, and Drew Tate's injury thrusting Kevin Glenn back into the starter's role in Calgary.

We'll start with the possible return of the player option. There are apparently some who would like to see the player option, which allows players to try to find work in the NFL while in the final year of their CFL contract, return. The player option was eliminated in the last CBA, signed in 2010.

There are some that believe the lack of a player option has stopped talented American players from heading to the CFL because they don't want to commit for a minimum of two years. Wally Buono is one of those individuals, believing that players will choose the financially troubled UFL over the CFL. I don't believe that to be true. For starters, what great players has the CFL missed out on that went to the UFL and then signed in the NFL? I can't think of any, but I admittedly don't follow the UFL at all. Secondly, if a player has to choose between two years in the CFL or giving up entirely on playing professional football, I think they'd opt to sign in two years in the CFL. I don't believe the loss of the player option has hurt the ability of any of the eight franchises to sign talent.

From a Tiger-Cat perspective, the lack of a player option is probably the only reasons Chris Williams will be a Tiger-Cat next season. Having said that, next year will be Williams' third in the CFL, not his second. So he had no qualms about signing a longer deal than required before potentially trying his hand one more time in the NFL. Williams is without question the best player to come to the CFL since the elimination of the player option and instead of losing him after last year or this year, we get to see him do his thing for at least one more season. If other American players really are worried about what signing longer term with a CFL team, they just have to look at what Chris Williams has done in his first two seasons, and is likely to do in his third season, and see that being in Canada for more than one year isn't a detriment to future NFL prospects.

Next up is the news that Drew Tate suffered a fractured forearm in the third quarter of the West Division Semi-Final and will miss the rest of the season. It has been a tough season for Tate, who was expected to be the starter in Calgary, but was hurt in the second week of the season. Kevin Glenn will take over just like he did during the season. The Stamps went 10-5 with Glenn as the starter.

Everyone knows I am a big Kevin Glenn fan and I think he got a bit of a raw deal when Tate was named the starter for last week's game against Saskatchewan. I get Calgary's, or more accurately Jon Hufnagel's, want to start Tate; Tate is the future in Calgary and Glenn is not. But Glenn led the Stamps all season and deserved to be the guy to succeed or fail with this team this year. Next year, give the reins back to Tate no questions asked. But Glenn gets his chance now that Tate is hurt again and the hope on my end is that he leads the Stamps all the way to a Grey Cup championship.

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