Julan Lynch, Michael Kashak among Calgary Stampeders' end-of-camp cuts
The Calgary Stampeders are entering the season with considerable Canadian depth at receiver.
But Julan Lynch will not be with them.
With training camp over and the 2019 season set to start next weekend, the Stampeders announced their end-of-camp cuts late Saturday afternoon.
Lynch and defensive lineman Michael Kashak were probably the biggest names.
Lynch was a second-round pick in the 2017 CFL Draft and had two catches for 62 yards last season.
At 24 years old, there’s still time for the Saskatchewan native to develop into a CFL talent, but the Stamps are well-stocked with Canadian receivers. With Juwan Brescacin looking set for a breakout year and the combination of 2019 first-round pick Hergy Mayala, Michael Klukas and Richie Sindani all available, Lynch was deemed surplus to requirements.
Kashak was a sixth-round pick in 2016 and suited up for nine games over the last two seasons but recorded no stats last season.
“Listen, it’s hard,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson about making end-of-camp cuts. “I’ve been cut a lot. Six times, and you don’t look forward to it, but you also do king of get a sense of your team and moving forward (and) trying to generate some momentum. You tell the guys you appreciate what was given to us and keep yourselves ready to go and you also don’t know which ones are ready to take the practice roster.”
With the release of Lynch, the Stampeders’ roster now features only two players selected in the 2017 Draft – and the players they chose in the first three rounds are all gone.
Lynch’s release, though, was ultimately more the product of the amount of Canadian talent the Stamps have at their disposal than anything else.
Brescacin, from Ontario, is going to be a big part of the offence this year, and with Mayala, Klukas and Sindani all looking like tantalizing prospects, the Stamps have a full cupboard of Canadian talent.
“Oh man, talent is definitely one of the first words (I’d use),” said Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. “I think, you know, a Canadian in this game growing up, if you stayed in Canada, the game comes very easy to you as far as seeing things and the talent is what you’re looking to take over. The Canadians who go down to the States, sometimes it’s a little bit tougher. You played probably for a little bit here or maybe not at all, and then you went down to the States to play American football, so they have the same learning curve the Americans do.
“Right now, I think our Canadian talent is really good, I think they’re intelligent and for one thing they’re ballers on special teams.”
Lynch and Kashak certainly weren’t the only notable cuts on Saturday.
After spending last year on the practice roster and entering camp as the frontrunner for the starting field corner position, Gump Hayes was released after a camp that saw him bumped down the depth chart.
Receiver Griff Whalen was released, too. He had NFL experience and a 38-yard reception in Friday’s pre-season game against the B.C. Lions, but was ultimately cut after a couple weeks of tight competition at receiver.
The Stamps will start the season with many new faces after an off-season that saw them lose a lot of key players to both other CFL teams in free agency and the NFL.
The coaches were clearly impressed with some of the rookies they brought into camp, though, and the active roster heading into Week 1 includes defensive lineman Ivan McLennan, linebacker Fraser Sopik, defensive backs Raheem Wilson and Lorenzo Jerome, as well as receiver Josh Huff.
PLAYERS RETURNING TO UNIVERSITY
PLAYERS PLACED ON PRACTICE ROSTER