Annunziata could be at end of line

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

After waging a public war with the Canadian Football League to protect his financial rights, Sandy Annunziata is facing the prospect that his playing days are over.

The veteran offensive lineman, who protested to have his contract with the Ottawa Renegades registered with the CFL even though it originally rejected the deal, is on the unemployment line. He failed to be picked up by another team in Wednesday's dispersal draft.

"I've probably played my last game unless someone needs an experienced offensive lineman," the 36-year-old Fort Erie native said yesterday. "I'm always open to suggestions."

Annunziata will receive a signing bonus, which was part of the contract he signed with the Renegades. The Canadian Football League Players Association received word yesterday from the CFL that any player who had a signing bonus and was not picked up in the dispersal draft will receive the payments through the Ottawa Renegades Limited Partnership.

"I could have re-signed back in Edmonton," said Annunziata, "but it was a calculated decision to move back to the East for family reasons. If (the CFL) had an inkling something was going to happen (with the Renegades), they should have made everyone aware of it. But they left everyone out to dry."

NO DEAL

A league source said the Argos tried to trade a roster player, their first-round pick overall in the dispersal draft and their first-round pick in the Canadian college draft to Winnipeg for its first-round pick (second overall) in the dispersal draft. The Argos wanted offensive lineman Ibraham Khan, who was taken by Winnipeg.

OPEN MARKET

Several players who went undrafted -- some because of impending bonuses -- are expected to attract free-agent offers, including linebacker Donnavan Carter, long-snapper Jason Kralt, defensive back Dave Donaldson, centre Mike Sutherland and defensive back Da'Shann Austin.


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