CALGARY - A proven CFL kick-returner is in, a veteran long-snapper is back and an all-star cornerback may be leaving.
Itís been a busy Monday for the Calgary Stampeders and GM-head coach John Hufnagel.
The team started the day by announcing that fan-favourite long-snapper Randy Chevrier has signed a new deal, keeping him from hitting the free-agent market Tuesday night at 10:01 p.m. Calgary time.
In sending out a release saying the Stamps have added free-agent kick-returner Larry Taylor, a former all-star with the Montreal Alouettes, Hufnagel made it clear he feels itís unlikely cornerback Dwight Anderson will return.
Anderson is a due to become a free agent Tuesday night, and Hufnagel is preparing to lose the all-star to the highest bidder.
ďI have my offer on the table and itís not being accepted,Ē Hufnagel said about Anderson.
ďIím taking that (to mean) heís moving on. I only have so much money and I have to make sure Iím not left empty-handed.
ďOne of the reasons I signed Larry is I wanted another playmaker.
ďItís not free-agent time yet. Iím not closing door yet on the Dwight Anderson issue. It just doesnít look great. Iím doing business.Ē
In 31 games with the Alouettes over two seasons, Taylor had three punt-return touchdowns and one on a missed field goal. He was the 2009 CFL most outstanding special teams player but went to the New York Jets the following off-season.
He returned briefly to the Alouettes in 2010, suiting up for the season-finale, but he was abruptly cut before the East final.
There was speculation about a rift between Taylor and the Alouettes and some talk about an attitude problem, but Hufnagel doesnít believe that to be an issue.
ďNobody in the people we talked to in Montrealís organization or the people with the Jets or the people he worked out with now have said anything about him having a bad attitude,Ē Hufnagel said. ďIím not concerned about it.Ē
Taylor can be used as a receiver as well, and Hufnagel witnessed firsthand how dangerous he can be. His 42-yard punt return in the 2008 Grey Cup was almost a game-changer.
In signing with Calgary, Taylor hopes become a dangerous weapon again.
ďIím excited to be coming to Calgary and Iím looking forward to joining a first-class organization such as the Stampeders,Ē said Taylor. ďI canít wait to get going. Iím ready to get back to where I left off after being named the special-teams player of the year back in 2009.Ē
Hufnagel confirmed the team is due to announce a new deal with receiver Romby Bryant before the free-agency period kicks off.
Ask whether you should be on seeing a deal announced, Hufnagel said: ďIt would be a wise wager.Ē