Saskatchewan Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy appeared on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Monday to address the blockbuster trade, and to dispel any myth that the club is danger of being over the salary cap in 2016.
"In the last couple of weeks, as we started to play better and win games, teams were still interested in a couple of guys that could help them in their situation," Murphy explained from Ottawa where the club is staying between its Week 16 and 17 games. "And when you don't control your own destiny, that's when you need to consider every option and at least look and see what's available and what teams might compensate you with."
Murphy explained that recent free agent additions as well as players coming off the Injured List created a surplus at certain positions, and put the Riders in position to make a trade.
"Jarriel King is back and healthy and that gives us three legitimate American offensive tackles who've won consistently in the CFL. There were multiple teams interested in Fulton, and teams with ratio issues," Murphy continued. "Acquiring Muamba and Jefferson, that puts Justin Capicciotti's long-term status in question. Xavier Fulton was playing out a 1-year contract. To have the opportunity down the stretch to see who can play guard or tackle, to have two American defensive ends, that's what we want to do.
"Above all, we wanted to engage in Canadian content. It was a huge issue when we got here and continued to be through the season. To get Gaydosh, and then a pair of Canadian draft picks, that's big. Linden's been banged up and that's been the only issue hampering his career. It's a low risk, high reward scenario in acquiring him and maybe a change of scenery is what's needed. That's a look to the future as well. But we still have a chance to go 8-10 and that'st he goal."
Fans and media far and wide debated the reasons behind Monday's trade and many suggested that the Riders were dumping salary given the recent additions of Henoc Muamba, Jeff Fuller and Willie Jefferson.
However Murphy said that simply isn't true.
"There is nothing to do with these guys' salaries," Murphy continued. "#1 Justin was very well taken-of in free agency. Fulton made a deal late in the process, and neither of these guys were making a ton of money down the stretch. To say this is was a salary dump is incorrect.
"The Saskatchewan Roughriders are #1, far and away #1, currently in the league when it comes to the salary status of this club for the 2016 season. I'd rather be #1 in wins, but one category we do lead in is our SMS status. So for anyone to see we dumped these guys were part of a salary dump, could not be any further from the truth."
The Roughriders will practice on the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, in front of Centre Block, from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm ET.