Monday, 20 February 2012

With Andy Fantuz Signed, Could The Alouettes Start Contract Negotiations With Jamel Richardson?

With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats getting the most coveted signature onto a team contract from free agent Andy Fantuz. One could argue they have won the Grey Cup in February with their additions and subtractions from the roster.

Now, looking ahead, how could this impact the future contract negotiations with Montreal Alouettes receiver, Jamel Richardson?

Looking at Fantuz’s contract details that was revealed by Tiger-Cats beat writer, Drew Edwards of The Hamilton Spectator in his blog "The Scratching Post". As a non-import player, Fantuz has financially done well in that he will earn $180,000 per year, plus bonuses.

Moving Forward

Even though the 2012 season has yet to be played, there is a better sense of what the initial negotiation groundwork will be between the Alouettes and Richardson

In a January column I mentioned how these two players are interlocked with each other. During a head to head four year period, Richardson has been statistically better than Fantuz. The other argument that will be mentioned is that Fantuz is a non-import player; therefore, there is more against him than Richardson.

At the end of the day, football is a sport, regardless of your ratio status, if you could play that is what matters most.

If Alouettes general manager, Jim Popp who is known to rule with an iron fist with contract dealings (see Anwar Stewart and many other players). Could his initial offer be even close to what Fantuz will make on a per year basis?

Furthermore, according to the report by Edwards, the Saskatchewan Roughriders may have offered Fantuz upwards of $200,000 per year.

This could potentially get very expensive for the Alouettes who are at an end of an era of great dominance from their old stalwarts and moving onto the next generation of players.

Short-term, Richardson is still apart of the Alouettes organization. There is no denying his public fondness for the team, organization, city, and the fans. I certainly believe he would love to finish his career with the Alouettes organization.

Now it is a matter of whether or not Popp will start the process of getting a long term extension locked up for one of the most dominant Alouettes receivers in their history.

Otherwise, there could be potential suitors such as the Toronto Argonauts, B.C. Lions, or Saskatchewan Roughriders who all have a connection to Richardson, and will have no issue matching the contract dollars given to Fantuz.

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