So we all know now that Kenton Keith's injury on the first day of camp actually was serious and that he will be placed on the nine game injury list. According to the Spec, Keith has already had surgery for a torn lateral collateral ligament in one of his knees. Obviously this is unfortunate for the Cats and continues their habit of winning mid-season bidding wars for former CFL stars cut from NFL teams and having those players not pan out (Casey Printers come one down!).
Another facet of this injury is the fact, that while Jesse Lumsden was often maligned in Ticat land as the Glassman, running backs are often injured. With Terry Caulley and Tre (yes despite my first name, I am Caucasian) Smith still around, the Cats should still be decent at running back. However the hope with Keith was that his receiving skills out of the backfield could make for a much improved Ticat offense. Caulley and Smith don't seem to have as much upside there, but now they have half the season to try and prove that they are the number one back.
I'm actually most interested in the salary cap implications of this injury. Going on the nine game injury list means that for those nine games, Keith's salary does not contribute to the salary cap. Likely there were also bonus performance clauses in his contract based on the number of games, TDs or yards that are unlikely to be triggered with only nine games possible to be played. Keith is likely one of the most highly paid Cats so it makes one wonder where that salary cap room will now be spent. Potentially you could offer a bit more cash to defensive lineman Corey Mace, the former Buffalo Bill acquired in the Moreno trade with Winnipeg. However O'Billovich seems to have drawn a line in the sand and is willing to let Mace rot. Likely as in past years, a former CFL player who has gone down to the NFL will get cut as the final rosters are set and the Cats could use the cap room to front load a contract in a bidding war. However, based on the lack of success the Cats have had with this route in the past, it might be better for the Cats to forgo these quick solutions and just give higher pay to their current stars and free agents. Especially considered that by the time they are released from the NFL, their skills may actually be on the downside of when they were in the CFL.
One last thing about Kenton Keith, whenever I see his name I think wouldn't it make more sense for it to be Keith Kenton? Apparently there is a famous band leader called Stan Kenton, so Kenton is a valid last name. I feel vindicated. Interestingly, Stan Kenton was considered to be fairly controversial as a band leader in terms of music, which seems somewhat strange nowadays. I suppose back then there was no heavy metal, punk, or the like so the Al Jourgensens of the time would have been big band musicians. Certainly a big band arrangement of Stigmata or Thieves would be something to hear.