Red & White feels right

Receiver Nik Lewis signed a long-term contract extension with the Stamps yesterday. (Sun...

Receiver Nik Lewis signed a long-term contract extension with the Stamps yesterday. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

Dressed in a suit and tie, Calgary Stampeders boss John Hufnagel stepped up to the podium and wasted no time setting the record straight.

"I don't want Nik to get a big head," Hufnagel said. "I did not dress up for this occasion. I was at another function."

Nik Lewis, one the Stampeders' many receiving threats, won't have to worry about changing his on-field wardrobe anytime soon after signing a contract extension yesterday to stay with the Red & White.

"As long as they want me around here, I'll be here. And the day they don't want me here anymore, I'll probably retire," Lewis said.

"My favourite player is Michael Irvin and he wore the (Dallas) Cowboys uniform his whole career, and that's what I want to do. I want to play to my ability, and I'm pretty sure they'll keep me around as long as I can play to the level I played at. So I don't have to worry about going anywhere else."

Lewis, a five-year CFL veteran, was entering his option year.

The club is calling his new pact a long-term deal, while the smooth-talking slotback won't reveal the length of the contract, pointing out there are no guarantees in football.

Since joining the Stamps in 2004, Lewis has been as close as it gets to a sure thing. He has strung together five consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns, hauling in at least 50 passes every season.

The 26-year-old finished with 1,109 yards in 2008, racking up a career-best 10 touchdown receptions. He has at least one catch in 88 straight outings, a Stampeders' franchise record, and sits seventh on the club's all-time list in career yards and catches.

"Nik is a football player in the true sense of the word," Hufnagel said. "He plays with a lot of skill, a lot of toughness, but still (has) a lot of room for improvement."

With Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo, Jeremaine Copeland, Brett Ralph and running back Joffrey Reynolds all returning for another season with the defending Grey Cup champions, star signal-caller Henry Burris will have plenty of deep threats at his disposal.

Lewis is just happy to be a part of the equation.

"To play with the guys that I play with, it's amazing," he said.

"It's hard not to have fun. My whole life, I've had to be the man to win and now, I don't have to. It's great to go out there pressure-free and watch those guys make those plays."

Lewis, a Southern Arkansas product, delivered his most memorable performance to date in the biggest game of his career at Olympic Stadium in November. Battling a rib injury, he tied a franchise-record with 11 receptions in the Grey Cup game, helping the Stamps capture their first title since 2001.


Videos

Photos