Napastuk inks extension

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

The praise for defensive lineman Sheldon Napastuk is heady indeed.

And yesterday, Calgary Stampeders GM-head coach Matt Dunigan showed him the money.

Well, at least some of it.

"He's a talented athlete and willing to do the dirty work taking on two (offensive linemen)," said Dunigan about Napastuk, who signed a contract extension for two years plus an option yesterday. "Those guys are worth their weight in gold."

Since Napastuk has 270 lb. on his 6-ft. 4-in. frame and with gold holding at more than $400 US per ounce, that would be a pretty paycheque.

"You know we play in the CFL, right?," Napastuk said with a laugh.

OK, the mansion on the hill will have to wait but the deal allows the 30-year-old from North Battleford, Sask., to put down some roots.

After all, he's essentially signed through the 2007 campaign. Despite the club's struggles -- the Stamps are 3-12 -- Napastuk's ecstatic about sticking around.

"Nobody enjoys going through this type of season but as a player, you look at certain things and playing on this defence has been a phenomenal experience," he said.

"I feel it's in the top two in the league and it's been a treat. This team's been very aggressive building the defence and I believe we'll be doing the same things with the offence."

Napastuk's second season in Calgary, and sixth in the CFL, has arguably been his strongest. Playing mainly nose tackle, he's recorded 26 defensive tackles -- five of those for a loss -- four quarterback sacks and four knockdowns.

The only drawback, besides the team's record, was seeing good friend and even better teammate Joe Fleming traded away.

However, with Demetrius Maxie also signed to a long-term deal and Garrett Smith and Antwone Young still in the fold, the club appears set on the d-line.

"This has nothing to do with Joe," Dunigan said. "Sheldon's been holding down the nose-guard position all season in all-star form."

ALLEN READY TO GO: Toronto QB Damon Allen, who suffered a broken leg in August, has been cleared to resume playing. The veteran quarterback is expected to practise today. The 41-year-old suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Montreal Alouettes' 22-10 home win over Toronto on Aug. 12.

KEITH GETS AWARD: Running back Kenton Keith of the Saskatchewan Roughriders was named the CFL's offensive player of the week and Edmonton Eskimos defensive back Malcolm Frank earned the defensive award.


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