The Saskatchewan Roughriders are set to open 2017 Training Camp presented by Coors Light on Sunday morning in Saskatoon. Around 80 players will take to the field at Griffiths Stadium for the first of two-a-day workouts at 9:00 am.
“I’m definitely vibrating,” said Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Football Administration Jeremy O’Day on 620 CKRM’s SportsCage on Friday. “It’s that time of year. It’s the most exciting time of the year for us. From the standpoint of my position, my favourite time of the year is when you step on the field for the first time on Day 1. It’s also the healthiest point of the season you’ll ever be too.”
O’Day’s first training camp in the CFL was in 1997 when he was a rookie lineman with the Toronto Argonauts. 20 years later, things have changed mightily in the CFL including the addition of spring minicamps for all teams which began in 2013. A lot of those rookies from Florida have advanced to main training camp, meaning they’re no strangers to the Riders.
“You kind of know what you’re getting into,” O’Day agreed. “We’ll know 95% of the guys we’ll have in camp but there are a few late additions who we haven’t seen live yet. Plus it’s your first look at the guys we drafted this year. It’s exciting to see what you have.”
The Riders announced on Friday that they’ve signed six of nine Canadian draft picks from the 2017 CFL Draft in May. However absent from the list was the team’s first round pick, Canadian linebacker Cameron Judge from UCLA.
“Sometimes these things take time,” O’Day cautioned. “There’s always two parties involved and those discussions are ongoing. They’re going on as we speak. They want a deal they see fitting and we have a financial structure that we stick to, and believe in. There’s a way we manage the salary cap and how we see guys fitting into it. There’s nothing new to report other than those discussions are ongoing by the minute.”
CKRM analyst Luc Mullinder said on Friday’s SportsCage that he figures the chances of Judge being in training camp with the Riders are 70/30 to the good.