Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Could Kerry Watkins be Asked to Take a Pay Cut by The Alouettes?

I took a few days off to recharge my batteries for what will be a fantastic year of football stories.

With the CFL free agent period and new calendar year looming, there will be questions on what will happen with the Alouettes decision-making process with their player personnel.

We’ll start off with Kerry Watkins, could the Alouettes bring him back into the fold for the 2012 season?

To retrace what went down during the 2011 season, it was an inauspicious start as he was down for the count due to sinus surgery. As a result, he missed all of training camp, and he came back to the team early in the season.

The moment he re-entered the field, it seemed he never found the rhythm with Anthony
Calvillo, as he was a step too late in his routes, and had a somewhat difficult time catching the football. Finally, against the Calgary Stampeders, his season came to an end due to fractured left fibula.

What could Jim Popp do with Watkins? With the ascension of Brandon London and the possibility of Bo Bowling getting more of a prominent roll on the team, this is one position group that is very deep, and most talented on the team.

It has become the norm for the team to bring in one or two former NFL receivers looking to rekindling their love for the game. So potentially if he is healthy, Jerry Porter could come back, and maybe another former player.

Financially speaking, factor in that Jamel Richardson will be a free agent after the 2012 season. The Alouettes could conceivably clear out or ask Watkins to take a pay cut, so the team could allocate that money towards a contract offer for Richardson.

Statistically speaking from the 2005 to 2009 seasons, Watkins was one of the best receivers in the league, averaging 85 receptions, 1206 yards, and 7 touchdowns.

However, in the last two years, his numbers have progressively taken a dive by averaging 43 receptions, 682 yards, and 6 touchdowns. But let’s not deny Watkins dip in production has to do with the positive up rise of Richardson, and S.J. Green who have become Calvillo’s favourite targets.

For those who know Jim Popp, if there is a decline in a player’s progression, the chances increase that he will ask that player to take a salary reduction to stay on-board with the team.

In years past, there is no denying that Watkins and management have butted heads. Many moons ago, it was believe Watkins was on the verge of being shipped out of town to another CFL team but both sides came to a compromise.

Without a doubt, Watkins is entering the last turn to his career. The question is will he swallow his pride and accept a pay cut to save his roster spot? Or will he spar with management and try to convince them that he still has plenty left in the tank to perform as he did during the apex of his career?

As the new calendar year approaches, the team will ask some players to take a pay cut. If the tea leaves are correct, Watkins could be one of the targets for the Alouettes.

You can follow me on Twitter @MoeKhan19

Photo Courtesy of Andre Pichette, La Presse

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