D-line could be sacked

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Rahim Abdullah walked around the locker-room yesterday telling jokes to teammates still suffering from a playoff defeat.

The large, loud defensive lineman just hopes this isn't the last time he can call himself Calgary Stampeders' main wisecracker.

A pending free agent who knows the clock is ticking on his playing career, Abdullah admits the 2007 version of the Stamps will have several new faces and he might not get to know any of them.

"Alberta is the only place I've played in the CFL," said the former Edmonton Eskimo, who led Calgary in sacks for a second straight season.

"I would love to be back with my guys but I understand how the business goes. It's young versus old. I've been playing this game long enough to understand.

"I'm happy if I play on someone's team next year.

"If I keep leading my team in sacks, I think someone will have me."

The Stamps only have four free agents set to hit the market Feb. 15. Joining Abdullah are fellow defensive lineman Demetrious Maxie, linebacker Cornelius Anthony and defensive back Pascal Masson.

GM Jim Barker said the Stamps are looking to improve in all areas but is most concerned with spots where the team is aging.

So even Canadian nose tackle Sheldon Napastuk isn't certain he will be invited back next season, even though he is only 32.

"I hope the defence includes me," Napastuk said. "At this time of year, you never really know."

Linebacker John Grace, who was benched in the West semifinal, likely will be released.


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