The Riders appear to appreciate the job Dan Clark is doing in the middle of their offensive line.
Clark and the team agreed to a new contract extension on Tuesday. As is usually the case, terms of the deal were not released.
The decision to stay was an easy one for Clark.
“This is home. This is where I played football on Friday nights in high school with Thom Collegiate. This is where I played Sunday with the Regina Thunder,” said Clark.
“I don’t want to play anywhere else. I think this is where home will forever be.”
The move was an easy one for the organization as well.
As the team aims to turn things around next season, it’s vital for them to build around a solid base of Canadian starters. Clark is someone who currently fits that mold.
“Having good talent – Canadian talent and having them here in the long run is critical to the success of any CFL team. It is a big factor moving forward,” said interim general manager Jeremy O’Day.
“I don’t want to play anywhere else. I think this is where home will forever be.” – Dan Clark.
“It’s the first piece of the future for the Roughriders. Hopefully it’s a message that Dan is committed to the organization; while we had a tough year, I hope the guys understand that this organization is committed to making it right.”
The move was O’Day’s first major move in his new role with the organization.
If all goes to plan, it won’t be O’Day’s last either. Even though O’Day doesn’t have a guaranteed job through the end of this season, he has been given the green light to implement a plan he feels is right for the team’s future.
“That process is in place or being put in place. It is a complex process where it’s not clear cut,” he said.
“But also, going through everything in football operations, from all our staff in football operations, our scouting departments and start the evaluation process to see if and what the changes would be going forward.”
One of the first tasks that O’Day has been given over the last few weeks is to try and get the team’s salary cap in order.
Even though the team is dealing with an extremely long list of players on the six-game injured list – where salaries don’t count against the cap – the way many of those deals have been structured hasn’t provided the team with too much relief, according to O’Day.
“Not to say we’re not in position where were going to make the cap, just for the success of the team moving forward we have to change the way we structure and how we do contracts,” he said.
“There are some minor things that we can do moving forward that can help that out. We’re not in a great spot where we can start renegotiating all the contracts but we’re going to keep working and that’s something that I’ll have to do moving forward.”
O’Day wouldn’t go into much detail about how he plans on tackling the cap crunch, but it won’t be easy and some tough decisions will have to be made.
NEWS AND NOTES
O’Day also told reporters on Tuesday that veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn does not have a contract for next season. They have had some discussions with Glenn but nothing serious at this point.
With the season all but mathematically over, there have been plenty of calls for the Riders to make some trades to clear cap space and get some future assets in return. O’Day said that his phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook. The trade deadline in the CFL isn’t a hive of activity like other leagues.
Through O’Day, the team finally said that linebacker Shea Emry has been dealing with concussion all season and not a neck injury. Emry is going back through the concussion protocol this week to see where he stands.