Paopao ponders free-agents

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Renegades fans need not be overly concerned that their team has a very high number of players eligible to become free agents in four weeks.

Half of the 21 players aren't wanted back here anyway.

"I'd say about 30-40%, although that number might wind up closer to 50," coach/GM Joe Paopao said yesterday, when asked how many players off the "contracts-expired" list he hopes to re-sign.

"By (tomorrow) or Thursday, we should have some (announcements)."

TARGETS

Paopao has pinpointed three Canadians -- offensive guard Val St. Germain, fullback Mike Vilimek and linebacker Kelly Wiltshire -- plus American defensive back Anthony Malbrough as priorities.

It's likely he'd also want to re-sign defensive tackle Roger Dunbrack, defensive end Tim Fleiszer, and offensive linemen Alexandre Gauthier, Chris Burns and Mike Sutherland.

But if he brings back all of the above, then only one or two of the likes of Demetris Bendross, Kai Ellis, Shawn Gallant, Donnie Ruiz, George McCullough and Serge Sejour will be back.

Anyway it's diced, the Renegades will be making considerable roster changes for the 2005 CFL season.

"Nobody was pleased with last year," Paopao said of an injury-plagued 5-13 run. "If we were 18-0, I'd say let's bring back everybody.

"There are all kinds of ways to sign personnel ... your own, you can look around the league, or you can bring in 'street' free agents. Then there are the young college kids, not only from the Canadian draft but (Americans) like Jason Armstead, John Turntine and Syniker Taylor that we brought in last year.

"Everybody wants a pay raise," continued Paopao. "But I've talked to other GMs in the league, and there are going to be surprises over guys who are on the market come Feb. 15. It's all about affordability.

'SAME BOAT'

"I feel good. Everybody is in the same boat."

Meanwhile, Renegades co-owner Randy Gillies, president Brad Watters and CEO John Lisowski left yesterday for CFL meetings in Florida.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com

RENEGADES' ELIGIBLE FREE AGENTS

Following is the list of Renegades players eligible to become CFL free agents as of Feb. 15 (N-non-import; I-import):

- Demetris Bendross, wide receiver, I

- Chris Burns, offensive tackle, N

- Crance Clemons, defensive back, I

- Roger Dunbrack, defensive lineman, N

- Kai Ellis, linebacker, I

- Tim Fleiszer, defensive end, N

- Shawn Gallant, defensive back, N

- Alexandre Gauthier, offensive lineman, N

- Sherrod Gideon, wide receiver, I

- Darnell Kennedy, quarterback, I

- Eric Lee, defensive back, I

- Anthony Malbrough, defensive back, I

- Mike Maurer, fullback, N

- George McCullough, defensive back, I

- Donald Ruiz, defensive back, N

- Serge Sejour, defensive back, I

- Grayson Shillingford, slotback, N

- Val St. Germain, offensive lineman, N

- Mike Sutherland, offensive lineman, N

- Mike Vilimek, running back, N

- Kelly Wiltshire, linebacker, N


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