A lot of time and effort has been spent this season wondering who the Ottawa Redblacks will take in the expansion draft.
Perhaps the question should have been who will the Winnipeg Blue Bombers swoop in and acquire via trade before players are made available for the Redblacks to take in the expansion draft?
The theory of course being teams would rather trade the valuable assets they have no room for on their protected lists than lose them for nothing come December 16 when the Redblacks fill out their roster.
Teams are free to make trades until a week before the expansion draft; a time newly appointed Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters should use to find his quarterback of the future.
There are rumours the Bombers could be after Zach Collaros, the Toronto Argonauts' talented backup who excelled filling in for an injured Ricky Ray during the regular season.
The deal, should it come to that, would seemingly make sense for both teams. Winnipeg would grab Collaros – surely on Ottawa's short list should he be made available in the expansion draft – and protect him as their QB of the future while Toronto, likely to protect Ray over Collaros, would get something in return for the talented youngster rather than lose him for nothing.
Maybe the Bombers will target another QB in their one-week head start over the Redblacks to find the best non-protected talent at the position. Calgary has some intriguing options while other teams like Saskatchewan and Hamilton have backups the Bombers could be interested in as well.
There could be a flurry of activity the week heading up to the expansion draft, with teams looking to fill their protected slots with the best available talent while at the same time bartering their fringe-level keepers before losing them for nothing. Winnipeg certainly should be proactive in beating the Redblacks to the punch.
Ottawa's loss could be Winnipeg's gain. The Rouge asks: What should the Blue Bombers plan be ahead of the expansion draft? As always, it's Your! Call.