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The Rouge: Should the Redblacks draft a free agent QB?

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
12/4/2013 7:49:18 PM
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Of most interest and significance for fans in Ottawa this off-season is who the Redblacks will settle on as franchise quarterback.

There is considerable interest from fans around the league as well, with all eight teams vulnerable to poaching.

Perhaps his best option at landing his first choice at QB, the expansion draft also poses problems for general manager Marcel Desjardins.

With pending free agents needn't be protected, the talent pool of quarterbacks available to the Redblacks for selection – and under contract – is likely small. But add in the pending free agents and the options become a lot more attractive.

The Redblacks have said they're unlikely to select many free agents – if any at all – in the expansion draft, fearing they'll simply leave two months later when the player market opens.

But taking a quarterback, if Desjardins truly deems him the guy to lead his team for the next 10 years or so, could be worth the risk.

Take Zach Collaros for example. The pending free agent will almost certainly be available in the expansion draft as the Toronto Argonauts will surely protect Ricky Ray.

Filling in for an injured Ray this season, Collaros proved he's deserving of a starter's role somewhere in the league. With that unable to happen in Toronto, a not-yet-registered re-signing with the Argos can be all but ruled out.

That means Collaros is leaving as a free agent. Selecting him in the expansion draft doesn't guarantee he becomes a Redblack, but it gives Desjardins a two-month exclusive negotiating window with the QB.

Maybe Collaros has his heart set on playing in a specific city, but if he's open to playing anywhere, it could be worth it for Ottawa to get a head start on making their pitch.

The Rouge asks: Should the Redblacks select pending free agents in the expansion draft?

As always, it's Your! Call.

Zach Collaros  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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