Copeland could be high-steppin' out of here

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

One of the flashiest free agents to slip into Red and White may have performed his last endzone dance as a Calgary Stampeder.

High-priced slotback Jeremaine Copeland, who for the first time in four years failed to post 1,000 yards in receptions, might be the victim of the salary cap and a sub-par season.

He could be replaced by reliable Montreal Alouettes slotback Ben Cahoon, who becomes a free agent Feb. 16 and earns a similar salary.

"I hope I'm still in the plans for the future, although I really don't know," said Copeland, who had 54 catches for 978 yards and six touchdowns in 2006.

"There's a salary cap coming up (in 2007) and there are a lot of guys who might have to take a pay cut or whatever but I'd be happy to renegotiate so that I can stay here. That's the best thing for me right now and I'm looking forward to that and hopefully it won't go another way."

A source said the Stampeders approached Montreal earlier this season about acquiring Cahoon, 34.

He has more than 9,000 career yards in nine seasons with the Als, including five successive 1,000-yard campaigns. The Brigham Young product is apparently interested in playing in Calgary, where he can be closer to his home in Utah.

Copeland caught three balls for 63 yards Sunday in a 30-21 West semifinal loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He has another year plus a team option on his contract and said he is due a bonus in January if the Stamps choose to keep him.

Copeland was at odds this season with head coach Tom Higgins over choreographed TD dances.

Yesterday Higgins made it clear the team needs more production out of the offence and personnel changes are inevitable.

"The team will be different," Higgins said of 2007.

"Hopefully we'll have a couple of more playmakers in it.

"We'll have to see if they're actually in the locker-room (now) but we're definitely going to put some other players out for training camp and see if they can compete and win a roster spot for themselves."


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