Barker studying Holmes economics

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders may be interested in Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back/returner Corey Holmes, if the price is right.

Holmes, last season's CFL special teams player of the year and West candidate for most outstanding player, is reportedly on the trading block and could be moved before Tuesday's deadline.

Stampeders GM Jim Barker said adding Holmes, who led the CFL in 2005 with Saskatchewan with 3,455 all-purpose yards, would only make sense under certain conditions.

"Anyone would be interested in the special teams player of the year (in 2005)," Barker said yesterday.

"But Markus Howell (on punt returns) and J.R. Ruffin (on kickoffs) are doing a really good job for us.

"We're not going to mortgage the farm for (Holmes). He's a free agent next year, too, so if he's going to go to free agency, he might be available anyway (after Feb. 15).

"We have to decide whether his addition is what we need to put us over the top."

Barker also noted Stampeders' backup tailback Wes Cates has given the team good depth behind starter Joffrey Reynolds.

Holmes, 29, has been trying to negotiate a new contract in Hamilton since being acquired in a trade with Saskatchewan in April.

Holmes is also recovering from a knee injury that could take another couple of weeks to heal, leaving any interested teams wary. He has also struggled this season in the Ticats' revamped offence while an early season ankle injury hampered the transition to his new team.

In limited action, Holmes has posted 369 yards rushing for a 5.8-yard average. He is fourth in the league with 1,235 combined yards.

The Tiger-Cats are in need of offensive lineman, a problem area all season in front of QB Jason Maas, while the Stampeders are deep in that area.

The Tabbies also recently signed Canadian running back Jesse Lumsden to complement Josh Ranek, making Holmes expendable.


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