Where are the 'Gades?

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

The 2006 CFL season starts today without the Ottawa Renegades. Where have they gone? Take a look:

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

No team feasted on the "suspended" franchise's carcass like Winnipeg. In the dispersal draft, the Bombers selected off Ottawa's 2005 active roster offensive linemen Ibrahim Khan (second overall) and Val St. Germain (with the fifth pick, acquired from Toronto), QB Brad Banks (13th overall), DT Cam Legault (26th overall) and LB Robert Grant (seventh round). Of that group, Grant failed to make the cut and will not be in uniform when Winnipeg kicks off the season in Montreal against the Als tonight. The dispersal draft also brought the Bombers Henri Childs (sixth round) off the Renegades' neg list. Childs, a John Jenkins find, beat out NFLer Onterrio Smith for the job as Winnipeg's second import running back and complement to Charles Roberts. (You'll remember Jenkins as the coach who never made it to the sidelines but fret not for him, as he continues to collect a $150,000 salary until November). Meanwhile, the Bombers also signed three non-imports -- LB Donnavan Carter, DE Adrian Baird and WR Darryl Ray -- to give them at least seven players (eight if you want to count Childs) who should have been wearing Ottawa colours this season. Their number of former Renegades grows to 11 when pre-2005 performers Anthony Malbrough, Shawn Gallant and Mike Abou-Mechrek are included. Throw in Greg Marshall and Richard Harris -- Winnipeg's new defensive co-ordinator and defensive line coach held similar positions here last season -- plus GM Brendan Taman, a former Rough Riders employee. Now see how fitting it is that Winnipeg takes Ottawa's spot in the East Division?

HAMILTON TICATS

The Ticats dealt the first pick overall (Kerry Joseph) in the dispersal draft, but did raid the Renegades roster before the body was buried. In two free-agent losses that further convinced owner Bernie Glieberman he was up against long odds, Hamilton signed Ottawa stars Josh Ranek and George Hudson. The Hudson departure was particularly tough for Glieberman to stomach, as he had offered the standout lineman a multi-year deal that paid him a whopping $275,000 this season. (On a side note, it'd be interesting to know how the first meeting as teammates went between hated foes Hudson and Tim Cheatwood). Also joining the Ticats as a free agent was OL Pascal Cheron, who has just started practising again after missing time with mono. Former Renegades punter Pat Fleming was selected by Hamilton in the second round of the dispersal draft and non-import FB Gilles Lezi was grabbed in the third. The arrival of Fleming has turned Jamie Boreham into a full-time kicker. Calgary's Sandro DeAngelis is the only other ball booter who handles only kickoffs and field goal/converts. The Ticats took S Greg Bearman in the fourth round, but he did not make the final cut. Hamilton also signed former Ottawa coaches Joe Paopao and Kani Kauahi to serve as offensive co-ordinator and line duties, respectively. Past Renegades on the Hamilton roster include DT Roger Dunbrack, WR D.J. Flick, LB Matt Robichaud and DB Airabin Justin.

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

Only three, 2005 Renegades wound up on the Als roster, and LB Kai Ellis (injured) won't be making his debut this week. After taking Ellis in the first round of the dispersal draft, Montreal grabbed DB Greg Moss in the second. Moss failed to make the team. Import LB D'Wayne Taylor, selected in the third round, did survive cuts. Original Renegades DT Jerome Haywood, signed with the Als in the off-season. Montreal did make the last three picks of the dispersal draft, all off the Ottawa neg list. Watch for OL David Ashkinaz, DB Jeremy Pearl and WR Chris Duncan to appear in the Als' future. On the Als injured list with Ellis are former two former Renegades, FB Mike Vilimek and DT Clinton Wayne.

TORONTO ARGOS

The Argos will only have two members of last season's Renegades on their roster when they open up the season Saturday against Hamilton -- Ottawa native Marc Pilon, who they took in the second round of the dispersal draft, and DB Dave Donaldson, who they signed as a free agent. Toronto took Ottawa WR David Azzi and import RB Sean Bennett in the dispersal draft, but they are on injured and practice roster lists, respectively.

SASK. ROUGHRIDERS

The Saskatchewan Roughriders offence has a sudden and strong Renegade flavour to it. So determined to upgrade the quarterback position from Nealon Greene and Marcus Crandell, the Roughriders dealt star returner and RB Corey Holmes, non-import S Scott Gordon and a first-round college pick in 2007 for the Ticats' No. 1 pick in the dispersal draft so they could take Kerry Joseph. "Kerry is a marquee quarterback and has the ability to lead on and off the field," Saskatchewan coach (and former Ottawa Rough Rider QB) Danny Barrett said at the time. "We are confident that Kerry will pick up where he left off last season and will be comfortable with us." In 2005, Joseph established himself as perhaps the league's premier dual threat, rushing for 1,006 yards while throwing for 4,466. He also continued to have trouble with jersey colours, however, throwing 23 interceptions. In his three seasons as a CFL QB, Joseph has been picked off 53 times -- or about one in every 25 tosses. He does bring with him his favourite target, as Jason Armstead was picked by the Roughies with the third overall pick. Armstead, who will sufficiently replace Holmes as the team's return specialist, had 1,307 receiving yards last season, good for fifth in the CFL. In the second round, Saskatchewan selected non-import FB Cory Hathaway, who had a strong rookie season with Ottawa in 2005. The green Riders added non-import DB Donnie Ruiz in the fourth round.

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

Aptly, the defending champs only bothered to add one player from Ottawa's 2005 roster, and he's not even on their active roster. Kanata native Pat Woodcock, who is currently nursing a hamstring problem, was the 32nd player selected in the dispersal draft. He might have been in more demand if not for the fact he's coming off a couple of seasons in which he did not produce, for whatever reason. The Esks drafted DE Anthony Collier in the first round of the dispersal draft, but cut him at camp. They then took a couple of Ottawa's neg list players currently pursuing NFL careers (K Shawn Suisham and DT/long snapper L.P. Ladouceur) with their picks in Rounds 3 and 4, and another one (Chicago Bears DE Israel Idonije) in Round 5. Edmonton does have 2003-04 Renegades Kelly Wiltshire, Tim Fleiszer and Mike Maurer, as well as mammoth tackle Patrick Kobongo, who was on the Ottawa practice roster two years ago.

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Like the Renegades in last year's 2005 Canadian college draft, the Stamps obviously see a lot of promise in Cam Yeow. They took the University of Akron LB with their first dispersal draft pick, fourth overall. He joins a solid defence that includes non-import linebacker Scott Coe, so won't be rushed into a heavy workload. Calgary neatly scooped non-import WR Markus Howell with its second-round pick. Howell was solid with the Renegades last season, catching 25 balls for 417 yards and three TDs with limited opportunity. Import DB Crance Clemons was picked up off the Ottawa pile in the third round. The Stamps next four picks were off the defunct team's neg list. Renegades from years past now wearing red include LB John Grace and OT Alexandre Gauthier.

B.C. LIONS

The Lions landed Ottawa's best player last season -- defensive back Korey Banks -- with the sixth selection in the dispersal draft. Why did five teams pass on him? A new contract that will pay Banks about $190,000 this season no doubt had something to do with it. Last year, the 27-year-old led the CFL in interceptions with 10, two of which he returned for touchdowns. B.C. will dress only one other player off the last Renegades roster -- defensive lineman Matt Kirk (from Kingston), chosen with the 14th pick in the dispersal draft. Sandro Sciortino, who sat out last season after learning he had testicular cancer, was pushing punter/kicker Paul McCallum for a job with the Lions this spring. Sciortino went AWOL toward the end of camp, however, and has been suspended by B.C. boss Wally Buono. Original Renegade FB Mark Nohra is also on the Lions roster.


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