As disappointing as tonight's loss was, I think it increases the likelihood of Burris re-signing with the Ticats. Burris' impending free agency, together with the Ottawa expansion draft, raise major questions about quarterback movement in the off season. As Drew Edwards observed earlier this year, the fact that Burris' contract expires this off-season could make him a less attractive target for Ottawa in the expansion draft. That would mean the Cats might safely be able to protect a younger QB from the draft and still be able to keep Burris as our starter for the next few years.
Even if Hamilton were to leave Burris unprotected and Ottawa were to draft him, if Burris wanted to keep the magic alive in Hamilton, he could decline to re-sign with Ottawa and then hopefully sign a new deal with Hamilton. Even just looking at Burris' contract status with the Cats, you'd think that re-signing here is a more attractive option than signing with the sad-sack Bombers, or a team of conscripts in Ottawa. The wild card might be if George Cortez were hired to fill one of the head coaching vacancies in the league this off-season.
As outsiders, it's hard for us to interpret the professional relationship between Austin and Burris, but I'm hopeful that both of them see this year's results as something worth continuing. Watching Drew's video of the post-game scrum with Burris, I get the impression that Burris has a strong feeling of "unfinished business" with this team. Seeing the potential and growth of the young players on this team, and the fact they made it within one win of a championship this year, maybe at this stage of his career Burris will see Hamilton as the place to stay for his best chance at another Grey Cup win. It sounds like the team really had something special this year. It would be nice if they can retain many of the pieces that made this year such a success, and I think Burris is a huge part of it. He gets a lot of criticism, but I would be thrilled if Burris were to retire as a Ticat after bringing us another Grey Cup or two. Or three.
I doubt Hank will be attractive to Ottawa. The Cats can protect Lefevour and pick up Henry on a new contract hoping he can retire a Cat and groom one of the younger guys to take over.
Some fans have a strange dislike for Hank that I will never understand. He has some off nights but we've had problems on O-line all year. He simply put this team on his back in the Eastern Final. Lefevour may be the guy in a year or two but I don't see him getting us to the Cup next year.
I too want to see Hank back with the Cats but it would be a calculated risk by the Cats to leave him unprotected. "BUT"
What would stop Hamilton and Hank coming to some "agreement" say we leave you unprotected to protect Dan L. if Ottawa takes you will see you in free agency "wink wink nudge nudge". What is to stop Hamilton or any other team from doing this?
Obviously it would stink of collusion or would it be a case of Ottawa would be taking a big chance.
Although I see Mitchell (Calgary) or Corallis (Toronto) heading to Ottawa.
Bo Levi Mitchell is Calgary's future. He will not go unprotected IMO. It's Zach Collaros (not Corallis) that will be interesting to watch. The ArgoNOTs have to protect him (not likely with Ray being MOP) or trade him before the draft. I see either Tate or Glenn being available in Calgary and one of the Blue Bummer QBs.
I would like to see Burris here for another couple years. Let's face it, the Riders had better receivers overall and a game plan to use these receivers combined with Mr Sheets. Way too much for the Cats to handle obviously as it turned out. Too bad Geroy didn't come to Hamilton although I still don't think that would have made the difference. But who knows.
Let Giguere go for another Canadian receiver like a Getzlaf.
Collaros is said to be headed to the Peg in a trade since they'd almost certainly lose him to Ottawa. Since he'll be a free agent, they'll probably work out a deal before the trade so that he signs immediately after becoming Peg property.
Burris is the team's best QB therefore he has to be protected in the draft.
I may be wrong but I thought I heard Dave Naylor mention at some point yesterday in the Grey Cup pre-game that Ottawa has said they won't choose QBs who are due to become free agents. This means that we don't have to protect Burris as he would likely not be chosen and he can be signed to a new contract after the draft. Burris won't play too much longer and I really think that he would prefer to stay here. Austin has often said that he loves Hank and I think Hank will continue to play well under Austin. Getting to another Grey Cup could happen sooner rather than later with this team so I can see Henry wanting to stay here.
What Ottawa says and What they do are two different things. Scenario: The Argos leave Ray unprotected based on what has been said. You are at the draft table. “As their first selection in the expansion draft Ottawa selects”’???
You tell me:)
I've seen the same interviews as anyone else and it is my thought that Henry probably wants to stay here. With that said, there is so much more to consider...contract terms, playing time, etc. He does have a family that needs to be considered as well.
I personally hope Henry comes back, he has a familiar grit and determination that suits our team so well!
This may be a bit off topic in this thread but I didn't want to start a new one and since there has been a limited mention re free agency, here is my question...does anyone know who will be Hamilton's potential free agents?
I don't know the total number,but,last night on the Tiger-Cat show Jamal Johnson said that he was going to be a Free Agent in February...That's someone else the Front Office needs to seriously consider resigning...
Clearly Burris wants to stay and it sounds like Austin wants to keep him - but with this being an expansion draft year with all kinds of games to be played with who do you protect, what free agents do you sign and protect, which don't you sin hoping they are still there after the draft will be interesting to watch.
This from a Canadian Press story on TSN's website.
[i]If Henry Burris has his way, he will be the starting quarterback to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back to the Grey Cup next year.....He says he wants to stay in Steeltown and play at the new Tim Hortons Field stadium that is planned to open next season. "I want to be back here," he said. "We've had a great run. I still feel like I can get it done."
Head coach Kent Austin said Burris has done "a great job" for the Ticats. When asked specifically if he wanted Burris back, he said: "Yeah, of course. But some of that's in my control. Some of it's out of my control."
Austin will be able to protect a certain number of import and non-import players, including a quarterback... one possible scenario would be to hold off on any free-agent signings until after the draft. That way, theoretically, there would be one less player that needed protecting. [/i]
I vote to keep Hank. (and Hanks - I'd like to see ol' Tom at Timmys Field next year)
He's not perfect, but he's the best we've had in many years, and clearly one of the best in the league.
His age isn't really relevant. He's the only QB in the league to avoid injury this year, even after being sacked the most. He can still run when needed, and his arm strength is still very good.
The one issue I can see getting in the way is if Austin is thinking of phasing in LeFevour to a greater extent, and decides that Henry should take a pay cut to reflect a reduced role. It sounds like Henry's pride would not allow that to happen - and perhaps rightfully so, if any other teams are willing to pay him what he thinks he's worth.