Renegade shipping out?

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

Renegades offensive lineman George Hudson has spent recent weeks thinking about his future.

The fourth-year Ottawa player, one of a small group of original Renegades from the inaugural 2002 season, has again met with team management about a contract extension.

But there's no agreement that would keep Hudson in an Ottawa uniform beyond the end of the current season.

Renegades president Lonie Glieberman, VP Forrest Gregg and minority owner Bill Smith spoke with Hudson at a restaurant in downtown Toronto during the team's trip to Hogtown late last month.

The club offered Hudson a contract extension in August that reportedly would have made him the fourth player on the team to earn more than $100,000 per season.

Yesterday, Hudson said his future in the CFL depends on more than money.

"It's more about the situation that the team will be in," said Hudson who would be eligible for free agency during the upcoming off-season.

"I'd like to know the future before I do any moves."

Hudson doesn't have an agent, so he represents himself when talking contract with Renegades brass.

He said yesterday one of the reasons he hasn't reached an agreement with the Renegades is the uncertain future of coach Joe Paopao.

The club would be obliged to pick up the option on Paopao's contract if the Renegades win eight games this year. Ottawa has six wins with three games remaining.

In the past, Hudson and many other Renegades players have been fiercely loyal to Paopao during times of turmoil between the front office and the football staff.

Last year, Hudson was one of the more vocal Renegades to express his displeasure about a threat made by Brad Watters, then the team's president, to fire Paopao during a slump.

His job was on the line in the latter part of last season, but was spared when the Renegades won a game in Calgary in late September.

This year, the Renegades still have a shot at making the playoffs.

But if they don't qualify, some players know that two wins in the last three games would at least give Paopao the choice of staying with the Renegades.

JOSEPH OPTION

"I pray that he would be here," said quarterback Kerry Joseph, who heads into an club option year on his contract next season.

"I love playing for him. You try not to think about the future, but it's about quality of life and what's going to happen. We've got to wait and see, but all my support is for him to be here."

Hudson and Joseph are considered team leaders, so their opinion on Paopao should carry significant weight in the locker room.

"We're playing for pride and we're playing for a playoff spot, and for coach Paopao and for the other coaches," said four-year defensive lineman Jerome Haywood, who is eligible for free agency.

"We're just pretty much playing to win because all of our jobs are on the line," he said. "Not just coach Paopao's, all of our jobs."

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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