New deal for Peterson

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

Kamau Peterson recalled in graphic detail how he sat in his Montreal hotel room watching the Grey Cup game.

Days before, Peterson had been named the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian.

"It was one of the hardest things for me to be in Montreal during the Grey Cup when we weren't playing in it," Peterson said from his Maryland home yesterday. "Winning the award was an afterthought. As a competitor, I wanted to be out there.

"I didn't go to the game. I watched it on TV."

Unfinished business on a team loaded with potential.

That's one of the reasons the 30-year-old wideout signed a two-year contract extension that will see him as a key member of the Green and Gold receiving corps through the 2010 season.

"I'm glad to be back, that's for certain," said Peterson. "I didn't want the negotiations to be a problem. Both sides are happy and I'm glad to be on board, to be part of the team again.

"I've been talking to more than a few of my teammates and that bitter taste is still in our mouths," said Peterson, who's one of the team's player reps.

When Jason Tucker suffered his neck injury in Hamilton this past season, much of the load fell on Peterson's shoulders.

His transition into Ricky Ray's go-to guy did not always go smoothly. Peterson went through a late-season case of fumbleitis and finally got his game together during the Esks playoff drive.

He finished No. 4 on the Esks' all-time list with 101 receptions, produced his second straight 1,000-yard season (1,137) and scored four touchdowns.

It was the type of season that earned him his first nod as a CFL West all-star.

"K.P. has emerged as a real leader on our team and is a key component for our future success," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia in a statement.

Being part of a playoff team proved to be an elusive goal in itself. Peterson won a Grey Cup as a CFL rookie with Calgary in 2001, then went through an incredible six-year stretch before his next playoff appearance with the Eskimos.

He had a chance to sign with Edmonton back in 2004. Playing with Winnipeg and Hamilton proved to be some of the darkest days of his career.

"If anything, I was an idiot for not coming here earlier," said Peterson, who came to his senses during the 2007 off-season. "I don't know if I would have been able to make the strides I did as a player if I hadn't come here. I don't plan on leaving any time soon.

"I've been in a circus atmosphere before and it's good to be part of a stable organization."

Peterson has been talking with and e-mailing his teammates and much of the talk is about the upside potential of this team in a tough, tough CFL West division.

"I can see where the fans are coming from," said Peterson. "Among the players, there's a real buzz about what we can do next year. We doubled our wins. One of the knocks against us was our inexperience. We got it and played more than some people expected."

One win away from a Grey Cup appearance. Sitting in that Montreal hotel room wondering what could have been.

"If we can keep most of the team together next season, we'll be more than OK," said Peterson.


Videos

Photos