Deal or no deal? Later start to Day 1 of camp as Redblacks players briefed on CBA agreement
It took them more than two hours longer than expected to get onto the football field, but the Ottawa Redblacks kicked off Day 1 of full training camp Sunday at TD Place.
After a Saturday snag in the wording of the collective bargaining agreement between the CFLPA and the CFL, it seems as if it’s full steam ahead — pending, of course, a vote where players will have to OK the deal put in place by their leaders. The players finally got on the field a bit past 10:30 a.m. — practice was supposed to start at 8:30.
Early Sunday morning, Montreal Alouettes all-star defensive lineman John Bowman spoke to the players prior to practice to clarify the terms of the CBA.
“The Players Association wanted to have somebody from their bargaining unit here to talk to the players so they understood where everything was at so we had to delay practice because of that,” said Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins.
“There was a lot of back and forth between the ‘PA and the league (Saturday),” said Redblacks defensive back Antoine Pruneau. “The league put us in a weird situation — I don’t know the specifics, all I know is it got fixed. Now, we’re trying to move on and we’ll see how the vote goes.”
OUTTA HERE: After the second day of Redblacks rookie camp last week, fullback Gabriel Polan, the team’s third-round selection in this year’s CFL Draft, told the team he was leaving. Explained Desjardins: “Thursday morning, he came in and said this was too much for him and he wanted to leave. He’s on our suspended list because he left camp, we’ll see where it goes from there — we’re not going to release him. You see that happen with Americans coming up here and it’s so different, but with Canadian kids who go to the Combine and do all those things, yeah, it’s rare.”
IN AND OUT: The Redblacks announced they have signed their first-round pick in this year’s CFL Draft — offensive lineman Alex Fontana. They also signed national DB Shamar Busby and international LB Shaheed Salmon. They released LB Ezekiel Bigger, WR Linell Bonner III, DBs Josh Jenkins, Tafon Mainsah and Mandella Loggale and LB Daniel Tshiamala, who’s from Ottawa.
THE END AROUND: The Redblacks will practise Monday from 8:30-noon … The Edmonton Eskimos signed one former Redblack, DB Mikael Charland, and released another, WR Kenny Shaw … The Montreal Alouettes released former Redblacks receiver Ernest Jackson … There will be some shuffling around during training camp and the Redblacks could wind up with at least one American in the mix, but the starting five offensive linemen to start practice Sunday were Evan Johnson at left tackle, Mark Korte at left guard, Alex Mateas at centre, Nolan MacMillan at right guard and Jason Lauzon-Seguin at right tackle. Said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell: “I told the offensive line in meetings (Saturday night) that we’ve made no determination on the ratio in the O-line. We could go all Canadian, one American or two Americans — any of those scenarios could happen. We’re going to let the players decide it on the field.”
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