February 5, 2018

Busy off-season continues

It may only be February but we’re inching that much closer to the start of the 2018 football season.

CFL teams are setting their sights on a busy spring as they get ready for training camp.

Many pending free agents remain unsigned across the nine teams with free agency a little more than a week away. It should make for an interesting few days seeing familiar faces in new places.

The second inaugural CFL Week kicks off in Winnipeg on Mar. 21 where the league’s most prominent players will gather for TSN production shoots, media junkets and fan events.

John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson will also be in attendance along with the other CFL GMs and head coaches for a media event and to attend the CFL Rules and Competition Committee meetings.

CFL Week wraps up with the CFL’s National Combine, presented by adidas, where future CFL stars showcase their skills for all teams ahead of the draft. For three days, national college players will be run through a series of drills, agility tests and interviews as they try to move up on the draft board.

Between the combine, scouting Canadian university games and close affiliations with amateur levels including junior, high school and minor football, the Stamps make sure they have all the bases covered when it comes to identifying homegrown talent both for today and in the years to come.

Stamps coaches and scouts also have the tall task of finding quality players from the huge pool in the United States. The team will be busy holding open tryouts in various locations across the U.S. and will cap that off with the annual two-day mini-camp in Florida beginning on Apr. 29. The annual invite-only camp gives the player personnel department a chance to assess players and decide who will be making the trip north to Calgary for main camp in May.

The CFL Draft is next on the agenda, taking place on Thursday, May 3 and the Stamps currently have nine selections. Calgary has one pick in each of the eight rounds plus an extra fifth-rounder as part of the Drew Tate trade.

The Red and White have a record of having successful drafts in recent history. Recent drafts have brought the likes of Alex Singleton, Lemar Durant, Tunde Adeleke, Juwan Brescacin and Andrew Buckley into the fold.

A couple weeks after the draft, the rookies hit the field on May 17 with main camp getting under way on May 20.