As long as the numbers add up, Obby Khan can see himself wearing Blue and Gold for a long time -- a very long time.
Khan has made a serious impact since the Winnipeg Blue Bombers chose him second overall in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft this spring.
Although Khan's option-year contract runs out at the end of this season, he's hoping agent Scott Mitchell can work out a deal -- maybe even in the next week or so -- with Blue Bombers general manager Brendan Taman.
"Yeah definitely, we're talking about a contract extension already," Khan said yesterday after practice at Canad Inns Stadium. "We'll see. It's just a matter of finding a number that we both agree on and go from there. I'm having a lot of fun here and I would totally consider staying here for a long time."
Khan is believed to be among the lowest paid linemen in the CFL at roughly $45,000 and he's likely looking for a raise to get him to at least the average of a starter.
Khan is leaving the issue to his agent, since he's working hard at adjusting to centre from tackle.
STAYING MAKES SENSE
"Sooner than later? I don't know. It all depends on what they're offering," said Khan, who won the J.P. Metras Trophy as the top lineman in Canadian University football in 2003. "If it's right and my agent feels its right, then great. If it comes now, comes in October. Ideally, you'd like to get it done before you go to free agency but if I go to free agency then it's a whole other ball park because you're entertaining offers from hopefully the other seven teams."
Staying in Winnipeg simply makes sense.
"That's the biggest thing, I like the direction the team is going in," said Khan. "I like the core of guys we have here and I like the coaching staff. If one of those three things were off, then you'd have more to think about. But the coaching staff is great and we're winning. What else could you want?"
Joining the Bombers has turned out to be a fabulous experience for Khan, who was sad to see his hometown (Ottawa) lose its franchise.
"I'm having a great time," said Khan. "I came into a new situation and only knew a couple of players. You always go in thinking you're going to be top dogs and succeed. If you don't have that attitude, you're not an athlete. But my expectations have far been surpassed by the city itself. It's a great city and I'll say that over and over again."
Khan's transition to centre has been smooth -- a lot smoother than his first try during Cincinnati Bengals camp in 2004, as lineman Matt Sheridan reminded him.
"That was not fun, not fun at all," said Khan. "It was tough because I had never played centre before."
During a media session last week, Bombers head coach Doug Berry raved about Khan's play this season.
Berry even suggested that Khan would be "of the top-five guys" he'd pick if he were starting a football team from scratch.
"He's going to be a dominant force at that position for as long as he decides to play," Berry said.
Taman played it cool yesterday when asked about wanting to lock up Khan for the long term, but was happy to hand out compliments.
"He's one of many, for sure, but that will all take care of itself in due course," said Taman. "He was who we wanted (in the dispersal draft). He didn't exceed my expectations on how good he was because I was following him since his days at Simon Fraser and I liked him all along."