Stampeders lock up Bryant to 2-year deal

February 4, 2011, 2:10 AM

One of the traditional strengths of the Calgary Stampeders has been their receiving corps. On Thursday they ensured a pivotal piece of it will remain with the franchise by locking up Romby Bryant to a two-year contract extension, sources tell Sportsnet.

The deal makes Bryant, 31, one of the top-five paid receivers in the Canadian Football League.

Bryant, who broke into the CFL in 2008 with Winnipeg, was set to become a free agent later this month and just last week it appeared contract extension negotiations were at an impasse.

But with a Feb. 15 deadline looming before the two-time 1,000 yard receiver was set to hit the open market, the organization made Bryant a lucrative offer including a substantial signing bonus.

There likely would have been interest for Bryant on the open market, especially in the West division.

Saskatchewan general manager Brendan Taman brought the Oklahoman into the league three years ago and Roughriders offensive coordinator Doug Berry was Bryant’s head coach in Winnipeg.

After a terrific rookie season in the league, Bryant grew disenchanted with the previous Blue Bombers management regime and along with Canadian slot back Arjei Franklin, was dealt to Calgary on Sept. 20, 2009.

He quickly became one of Henry Burris’s go-to targets and had his most productive season last year, catching 77 balls for 1,167 yards and 15 touchdowns.

With Bryant now secured, the Stampeders most prominent potential free agent becomes defensive back Dwight Anderson, whom sources say is searching for a contract that will pay in the neighbourhood of $150,000.

Calgary has yet to sign long-snapper Randy Chevrier, who curiously has not been involved in many of the team’s off-season community activities, which the McGill graduate has been a staple of most winters in southern Alberta.

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