The Saskatchewan Roughriders have officially signaled the start of their rebuild with a pair of trades.
First, the Riders sent quarterback Kevin Glenn to Montreal for a fifth round draft pick. Then, they dealt running back Jerome Messam and that same fifth round pick to Calgary for kicker Tyler Crapigna, a negotiation list player and a third round draft pick.
“We’re starting to look toward the future, trying to make the best decisions we can for the organization and the team moving forward,” said interim general manager Jeremy O’Day.
“In order to get draft picks and to be able to make trades you have to trade away good players. That was the decision that we had to make. We had to evaluate from age to their contract status to where we were at in draft.”
Glenn rejoined the Riders ahead of the 2015 season after bouncing around the CFL since entering the league with the Riders back in 2001.
The veteran pivot was brought back this season to backup Darian Durant and act as an insurance policy in case Durant was injured at any point this season. As it turned out, Glenn was needed just one game into the season as Durant torn his Achilles tendon in the second quarter of the Riders’ season opener against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The talk for weeks has been whether the last place Riders should trade Glenn or not. Some believed Glenn would return to Hamilton after their quarterback, Zach Collaros, suffered a season-ending knee injury. However, Ticats general manager Kent Austin has decided to stick with rookie Jeff Matthews.
Montreal became the only other possible destination for Glenn as he will be the sixth quarterback to start for them this season when he does. In week one, Jonathan Crompton and Dan LeFevour were both injured. Crompton eventually returned but was ineffective. LeFevour was lost for the season. Promising young pivot Rakeem Cato was injured on Thanksgiving against the Toronto Argonauts.
“It’s tough sometimes getting traded in the middle of the season,” Glenn told reporters in Montreal.
“At the same time, as a player, you want to come and do whatever you need to do to help the team out.”
Glenn also signed an extension with the Alouettes to remain in Montreal through the end of next season.
This season with the Riders, Glenn completed 171 of his 257 pass attempts for 2,174 yards nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Messam joined the Riders early last season as the team searched for a running back to replace Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets who had left for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
O’Day felt trading Messam was a good move for the team going forward as the Canadian ball carrier wasn’t under contract for next season.
“We also have to kind of project what we want our ratio to look like. When you decide to go with a Canadian tailback and you don’t have a Canadian tailback that can back him up. It puts you in some problems in terms of the ratio,” he said.
Messam had rushed for 826 yards and two touchdowns.
O’Day doesn’t expect to bring in another quarterback at this point of the season. It’s also expected that the negotiation list player will be signed by the club in the coming days.
The CFL trade deadline passed at 2 p.m. Wednesday.