Expect Thelwell to sign with Stamps

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The bidding war for Ryan Thelwell appears to be over.

With permission from the B.C. Lions to talk to other CFL teams before the free-agent market opens tonight, the non-import receiver has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Calgary Stampeders for $115,000 a year.

Expect a formal announcement today.

Before news of Thelwell's deal leaked yesterday, the Edmonton Eskimos had already confirmed they weren't interested in the receiver, even though he had an intriguing and successful connection to new offensive co-ordinator Jacques Chapdelaine.

Thelwell was a two-time CFL West all-star and averaged nearly 860 yards per season in the last three years with Chapdelaine on the sidelines with the B.C. Lions.

"My numbers since 2003 - in terms of Canadian receivers - I have been second to Ben Cahoon," said Thelwell.

OTHER INTRIGUING CFL FREE AGENTS:

Rahim Abdullah (DL): Needing to overhaul the defensive line, Hamilton could be interested.

Damon Allen (QB): Toronto has made a contract offer, but there's no guarantee of the No. 1 job or starter's money.

Adriano Belli (DL): Has agreed to a contract in principle with Montreal, but before signing wants to see his value on the market. Expect Toronto and Hamilton to call.

Carl Kidd (LB): Will anyone take a risk on a 33-year-old with questionable discipline but is dynamite on special teams?

Nautyn McKay-Loescher (DL): Wanting to play in the East, Hamilton has already received permission to negotiate with the non-import lineman who could bring 10 sacks per year.

Troy Westwood (K): Hard to imagine Winnipeg not signing him.


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