January 4, 2018

Jeremy O’Day explains the Kevin Glenn decision

The Saskatchewan Roughriders take on the Calgary Stampeders CFL action on June 10th, 2017 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, SK. Liam Richards/Electric Umbrella

It didn’t take long for Zach Collaros’ addition by the Saskatchewan Roughriders to result in a subtraction.

The CFL team announced Thursday that it had released quarterback Kevin Glenn, just one day after acquiring Collaros from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Saskatchewan sent a second-round pick (10th overall) in the 2018 draft to the Tiger-Cats for Collaros.

“Once we make a decision to make a trade like we did yesterday, there’s going to be some movement that we have to do on the roster,” said Jeremy O’Day, the Roughriders’ assistant vice-president of football operations and administration. “We had time to discuss that and develop a plan moving forward and we came to the conclusion that it was probably best not to let that linger on and, in fairness to Kevin and everyone else involved, to go ahead and make that decision to release Kevin this morning.”

The 38-year-old Glenn, whom Saskatchewan signed in January of 2017 after trading starter Darian Durant to the Montreal Alouettes, started 17 games for the Roughriders last season.

Glenn posted a 9-8-0 record as the Roughriders’ starter and finished the season with 4,038 passing yards with 25 touchdowns. He and backup Brandon Bridge teamed up to throw a league-high 35 TD passes.

But Roughriders head coach-GM Chris Jones replaced Glenn with Bridge in six regular-season games and in the East Division final, prompting many to wonder what would happen in 2018.

The acquisition of Collaros gave the Roughriders six quarterbacks, so a move had to be made. That came Thursday.

“He’s disappointed and understandably so,” O’Day said of Glenn, a veteran of 17 CFL seasons. “You come to an organization and you hope to play there for a longer period of time.

“Kevin’s a true pro; he has been through it many times before. It doesn’t make it any easier on everyone involved. It’s the tough part of the business. There are a lot of good people who end up getting hurt when you make those decisions, but he handled it like a pro.”

Glenn was signed in part to help the Roughriders’ other quarterbacks, none of whom had more than three years of pro experience. Noting that Glenn is “a very team-oriented guy,” O’Day praised the veteran for the impact he had on Bridge, Vernon Adams Jr., Marquise Williams and David Watford in Saskatchewan’s quarterbacks room.

The mentoring work that Glenn did prompted many to suggest that he could succeed the departed Jarious Jackson as Saskatchewan’s quarterbacks coach. On Thursday, that didn’t sound like a possibility.

“That was probably erased when Kevin told us that he wanted to continue playing,” O’Day said. “You want to respect the player’s aspirations.

“The other question is: Is that a great fit and is the timing right for that to happen? I won’t speak for Kevin and if he wants to become a quarterback coach down the road, but it wasn’t a huge discussion (for the Roughriders) because we understood that Kevin wants to continue playing.”

Shortly after the Roughriders announced that Glenn had been released, speculation began about where he might land. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos could be interested, since both are in the market for a backup quarterback.

Ironically, Edmonton is the only CFL team of which Glenn has never been a part during his career.

• Late Wednesday afternoon, Saskatchewan announced that it had released Canadian defensive back Elie Bouka.

The reason became clear later that day, when the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles announced they had signed the 25-year-old product of Laval, Que., to a reserve/futures contract.

Saskatchewan selected Bouka in the third round (24th overall) of the 2016 CFL draft, even though he had signed with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Bouka spent the 2016 season in Arizona on injured reserve and then was released by the Cardinals with an injury settlement in the fall of 2017. He joined the Roughriders in September and played in four regular-season games and two playoff contests.