REGINA -- According to Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Ken Miller, general manager Eric Tillman had been working for “a considerable period of time” on a trade that was announced Wednesday.
He had to have been — just to keep track of all of its twists and turns.
Following a convoluted three-way transaction, the CFL’s Roughriders wound up with one warm body (offensive tackle Jordan Rempel, who hails from Caronport) and a 2009 draft pick (the ninth overall selection) from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and the list rights to one player (North Dakota State University running back Tyler Roehl, an import) and at least one future draft pick from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“It gives us an opportunity to have an earlier pick in this year’s draft and then we get to add to our young Canadian talent in Jordan Rempel, another player from the province,” Miller said. “That’s an important consideration for us.”
Before Wednesday, the Roughriders had just one pick, the 22nd overall, in the May 2 Canadian college draft.
In the deal with the Bombers — which was announced first — the Roughriders acquired import offensive tackle Dan Goodspeed, the rights to Roehl, a fifth-round pick in the 2009 draft, and a fifth-round pick in the ’11 or ’12 draft.
The Roughriders also get to choose from these options: They can swap first-round picks with Winnipeg in either the 2010 or 2011 draft, or, if not, Saskatchewan will receive two future second-round draft picks from Winnipeg.
The swap is a result of uncertainty about Winnipeg’s first-rounder in 2010. The pick could end up being sent to the Edmonton Eskimos as compensation for quarterback Stefan LeFors, whom Winnipeg obtained earlier in the offseason. If LeFors has a big year, the Bombers’ first-rounder in 2010 will go to Edmonton, leaving the Roughriders with the option of swapping first-rounders with Winnipeg in 2011 or taking the Bombers’ second-rounders in 2010 and 2012.
In exchange, the Bombers got import receiver Adarius Bowman, non-import offensive lineman Jean Francois Morin-Roberge, non-import defensive back Brady Browne, the rights to a player from the Roughriders’ negotiation list (University of Utah quarterback Brian Johnson), Saskatchewan’s sixth-round pick in 2010 and its fifth-rounder in 2012.
As a CFL rookie last season, Bowman had 23 receptions for 358 yards and three touchdowns. Miller said the 23-year-old Bowman was expendable due to the presence on the roster of players like Jason Clermont, Carl Berman, Gerran Walker and Chris Jones.
Saskatchewan then dealt Goodspeed — a CFL all-star in each of the past two seasons — and the fifth-rounder in ’09 to Hamilton for Rempel and the ’09 second-rounder.
“That was really a close call,” Miller said when asked if Saskatchewan had considered keeping Goodspeed. “But we think we have strong offensive tackles in the guys that we have on our roster.
“The fact that we may only play one American tackle and the fact that Goodspeed is a fairly high-priced player and probably a free agent in a year, those things kind of fit in together — and we also get a young player who may be a Rider for the duration of his career.”
Rempel, a 6-foot-6, 322-pound product of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, was Hamilton’s second-round pick (12th overall) in 2007. He dressed in 11 games for the Tiger-Cats last season.
He becomes the ninth Saskatchewan-born player on the Roughriders’ roster, joining Clermont, receiver Chris Getzlaf, running backs Stu Foord and Neal Hughes, offensive linemen Joe McGrath and Gene Makowsky, and defensive linemen Scott Schultz and Mike Stadnyk.
“I don’t know that you can say that you ever have enough local talent,” Miller said. “Some people may think that we’ve addressed it with other people, but I think when you look at this from a future perspective, not just this season but 2010 or 2011, it makes sense.”