- Fan Zone
As the most proficient kicker in the Canadian Football League, Rene Paredes had plenty of motivation to wait around until next winter and shop his services to any and all takers.
After all, there is never a shortage of job openings for a cool-as-ice kicker. And who knows? Opportunity could even beckon in the National Football League for a guy with his credentials.
In spite of all that, Paredes chose to stick with the familiar and Thursday signed a contract extension with the Stampeders. Details on term and dollars were not released, but the CFL all-star said he is here for the “long-term.”
In consort with all-star punter Rob Maver, Paredes gives the Stampeders hands down the best kicking game in the CFL.
“I think what me and Maver have together will be good for years to come,” Paredes said Thursday from his off-season home in Montreal. “From the beginning, I knew I wanted to stay in Calgary. I didn’t want to check out the market or anything like that, especially with what they offered me.
“The whole time, I knew I wanted to stay in Calgary.”
The feeling was clearly mutual, with the Stamps eager to lock up the 27-year-old Concordia product.
“In his two seasons with the team, Rene has established himself as one of the league’s most reliable kickers,” Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing him build on that success in the coming seasons.”
The rise of Paredes to CFL all-star proved one of the most inspirational stories for the Stampeders last over the last two seasons. Consider the fact he made the team in 2011 as a last-minute injury replacement for Maver, who was in charge of field goals.
To pay the bills at the time, Paredes was working in a Montreal print shop while waiting for a shot to prove himself in professional football.
Opportunity knocked, and Paredes (nicknamed El Matador by his teammates) rammed down the door.
As a rookie, he converted 35-of-45 field-goal attempts. And forget the sophomore jinx, as Paredes set a franchise record in 2012 and registered the second-highest single-season success rate in CFL at a glowing 93 per cent.
In the playoffs, Parades was perfect on all eight of his field-goal attempts as the Stamps advanced to the Grey Cup championship, only to lose to the Toronto Argonauts.
“I’m over it,” he said. “You’ve got to move on, and you’ve got to learn from your experiences.
“I think we have a good enough team to come back and make another run for it.”