Riders believe Moncrief won’t be back

As the CFL’s general managers and head coaches take in the winter meetings, hoping for clarity on the CBA, the Riders appear clear on Derrick Moncrief’s future.

They don’t expect their All-Star linebacker will be back in green next season.

On Tuesday’s Sports Cage, Riders GM Jeremy O’Day said “We believe that he’ll likely get an opportunity in the NFL this year. The tough part of that is replacing those guys when they go down (to the States).”

Moncrief was a CFL All Star in 2019. According to reports he’s worked out with several NFL teams, trying to secure a contract.

The NFL window that players under contract can use to explore jobs playing in the U.S. is in flux. Teams like the Bombers and Stampeders have chosen to release players who had a year left on their deal, because of that uncertainty.

O’Day has no ill will towards those teams. But wonders if he’ll have to follow suit.

“You don’t want to speak for those teams and you don’t want to jump to conclusions of the situations they’re in,” says O’Day. “So, it’s best for us to just get the information of what transpired and also get a league perspective of the ruling of what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do.”

When the Riders released Jordan Williams-Lambert after the 2018 season, the league were assured them they would retain Williams-Lambert’s rights if he returned to the CFL. The Bombers have no such guarantee with defensive end Jonathan Kongbo–whom they released to try his luck in the NFL.

“It’s catch-22. You want to try and keep your best players and you want them to play,” says O’Day.”But you also understand that they have a family and they want an opportunity. And if it’s a great opportunity for them, you have to be able to have some sense of humanity in there.

“The biggest thing (to learn from these meetings) is just to get the message of what we’re allowed to do.”

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