Stevie wonders what happened with Calgary Stampeders

baggs

baggs

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

Stevie now has to wonder.

He’s wondering if he wants to continue playing football.

If he gets that chance, he’s wondering where it’ll be.

But Stevie Baggs, released over the weekend by the Calgary Stampeders, certainly doesn’t wonder if he can get to the quarterback.

“I felt I, for sure, played well enough to keep my starting position,” Baggs said Monday. “I didn’t think you could lose your position because some guys had good pre-season games.

“The first (pre-season) game, I only played the first quarter. It’s not like I was playing a lot of football. I feel like I showed the flashes they wanted to see and everything, but it didn’t work out.”

After staying in Calgary during the off-season to rehab a quadriceps injury that ended his stint with the Baltimore Ravens last summer — and subsequently lingered once he returned to the CFL with the Stamps — the eight-year veteran was outplayed, in the Stamps’ collective mind, by youngsters Micah Johnson, Cordarro Law and Shawn Lemon along the defensive line.

That’s the frustrating part, Baggs says.

“The worst thing about it, for me, the most disheartening thing about it, is when you’ve put in all the work and you’re at an optimum level to play this game at the highest level and it’s snatched away from you,” Baggs said.

So what’s the next step for the 31-year-old?

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Baggs said. “I still feel like I can play. I still feel like I can contribute. When you have the respect of your peers and they’re as surprised and shocked as you are, that kind of validates those feelings.

“I do have two (CFL) teams, for sure, that are nibbling, but we’ll have to see if it’s something that really comes to fruition,” he added.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is planning to stick around Calgary until he sorts things out.

“I don’t want to make any drastic movement and head back home down south and then get a call from a CFL team or even get a call back here,” Baggs said. “If it’s time for football to be over and I have to move on to the next part of my life, then we’ll see.”

Since he feels his game-tape still tells the story of a defensive end who’s able to make plays and get into opposing teams’ backfields with regularity — like he did in 2009 when he tied for the CFL lead in sacks with 12 while wearing Saskatchewan Roughriders’ green — he’s worried some will think there were other factors in play.

“When they’re looking at film and they see the flashes of what it takes to be a high-level player in this league and you get released, people start to think maybe there’s other things, right?” Baggs said. “That’s what you want to protect, is your brand and your character.

“Character things ... health things. Something of that nature that would hold teams back from picking me up.”

The veteran of seven CFL seasons and former Bethune-Cookman linebacker says it’s all love for the Stamps and GM/head coach John Hufnagel & Co.

“I still have a ton of respect for this organization, regardless of being released or relaunched to whatever new chapter of my life, I still have respect for the Stampeders all the way through,” Baggs said.

scott.mitchell@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNMitchell


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