With free agency in the Canadian Football League (CFL) scheduled to begin on February 14, coaches and general managers will not be the only people with a busy month ahead, as player agents will have a lot on their plate as they handled the contracts of their clients.
One of the top agents in the CFL, Rob Fry was a guest with Michael Ball on Thursday’s edition SportsCage.
Throughout January, Fry says that he will be spending the majority of his time looking to get his clients contract extensions ahead of free agency. With teams regrouping from the Christmas holidays and finalizing their coaching staffs they will now begin to lock up their primary targets ahead of next month’s deadline.
As an agent, Fry says his primary responsibilities over the next few weeks are to work with his clients and prepare their expectations ahead of free agency.
There will be a couple of Fry’s clients that will be receiving plenty of attention when free agency begins. Forlain Orimolade of the Calgary Stampeders is expected to draw plenty of interest in February. The defensive end enjoyed a career season with the Stampeders, he had six sacks along with an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Orimilade’s agent gives credit to the Stampeders for the loyalty that they showed towards the Dartmouth product over the last three seasons.
“They knew what they were doing, they knew what they had in him aside from being a really good dude and a good leader on the team.”
Fry added that along with rushing the quarterback, Orimilade has displayed the ability to drop back in coverage when called upon.
Calgary Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel have been regarded as one of the tough negotiators across the league but Fry enjoys discussing contracts with the Stamps G.M.
“He is direct, there is no fluff, I don’t like fluff myself, I like to get down to the point and understand what his side is.” Fry added. “He takes care of his own guys and I like that.”
The agent also noted Hufnagel is the type of executive who doesn’t cut his players just prior to them receiving a bonus.
Another client of Fry that is expected to draw a lot of interest next month is Toronto Argonauts receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. The Canadian had a breakthrough season with 81 receptions, 1101 receiving yards and five touchdowns. His agent said that Gittens Jr. put in a lot of work leading up to this season.
“He’s made immense strides since coming in as a rookie, his route running is special.”
Besides CFL interest, Gittens Jr. has worked out with the National Football League’s (NFL) New England Patriots. Beginning on January 9, players like Gittens Jr. can sign a futures contract with an NFL team.
When Fry is working contracts for his clients, he says it’s important to build a strong bond with the players.
“I pride myself as being as honest as possible when guys trust their agent you built a great relationship you can truly be honest every step of the way. ”