A major cog in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defence appears set to return to the black and gold.
Two-year defensive halfback Jason Goss, arguably the Tabbies best anti-aerial artillery gunner the past season, is expected to ink a new two-year pact with the club within the next week.
"A deal is imminent," Goss's Houston-based agent Jason Medlock told The Hamilton Spectator yesterday.
"Goss had some interest from the National Football League but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have really stepped up. We are pleasantly surprised with what they have come forth with. A deal is imminent for Jason Goss to be a Hamilton Tiger-Cat," he said.
Medlock said his client is excited about the prospect of continuing his pro career in Steeltown. Goss, a Texas Christian University-product, joined the Cats as a free agent in September 2004 and has been a starter in the secondary ever since.
Medlock said the recent acquisition of former Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback Jason Maas was a "huge" factor in Goss's decision to stay in Hamilton.
Ticat general manager Rob Katz, who met with Medlock last week in Houston, confirmed the club is close to coming to terms with the 5-foot-10, 180-pound defensive back.
"We had a good meeting in Houston. Jason Medlock and I got together over the holidays. We're getting closer and it looks very positive. I'm optimistic Jason Goss will be back in a Hamilton uniform for next season. I feel very good about it," he said.
Katz called Goss a "stabilizing force" in the Ticats defensive secondary, a unit that faced a lot of transition last season. Veteran cornerback Dedric Mathis was cut midway through the season and fellow cornerback Airabin Justin was benched temporarily because of poor play. Halfback Chris Martin was moved to linebacker and replaced with Alphonso Roundtree. Goss and free safety Wayne Shaw remained in place for most of the season.
"We think in Kavis' system he (Goss) is only going to get better and better," the Ticat GM said referring to Cat defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed.
"Having him back was one of our priorities," Katz said.
With Goss back in the fold, the Ticats GM will focus on inking Shaw, who becomes a free agent in February. The Cats like Shaw's experience, his non-import status and his versatility given he can play both the corner and free safety spots.