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THE MOJ: Colts among the team’s eyeing Lions Rourke south of the border

CFL’s outstanding Canadian will be working out in Indianapolis this month
Most outstanding Canadian player, quarterback Nathan Rourke of the BC Lions, holds up his trophy during the CFL Awards in Regina, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

As Nathan Rourke begins his odyssey to find employment in the National Football League, speculation mounts on which teams will be working out the B.C. Lions quarterback and where he will eventually sign.

Although there have been previous reports that as many as 20 NFL teams have shown interest in Rourke, he will probably work out for anywhere between 10 and 15 teams.

Of those 10 to 15 teams, how many will show a legitimate interest in the 24-year-old signal-caller?

“(I’m) not just showing up to get a T-shirt, (I’m) going in there and trying to make an impact and being able to go to a situation that makes sense,” Rourke told reporters at the conclusion of the Lions season.

But you can guarantee that some of the teams that Rourke will visit will just give him a passing glance as they do their due diligence. Then there will be some that will be running multiple workouts and just need a quarterback to complement the group of free agents being assessed.

So even though he might be working out for 10-15 teams, perhaps there will be three to five teams that will make an offer when it’s all said and done.

So what teams are expected to look at Rourke?

His agent, Cameron Weiss of the Dynamic Sports Group, was not willing to share that information but did indicate that the process will be relatively quick.

“I think it will take about a month. We’d like to get it all done a week in advance of the Jan. 9 deadline,” stated Weiss, referring to the date in which the window closes for CFL players to sign with NFL teams.

Although Rourke’s exact workout schedule is not known, I have been able to confirm from NFL sources that he will be in Indianapolis for a workout with the Colts on Dec. 12 and also be in Tampa Bay on Dec. 13.

As for the other teams, there is plenty of speculation but nothing concrete to report.

There have been several potential suitors bandied about such as Denver, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Arizona, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington.

The Colts could be a frontrunner for his services but not necessarily the best fit.

First off, the Colts’ quarterbacking situation is in dire need of help. Veteran Matt Ryan was brought in from Atlanta to help out but was benched in favor of Sam Ehlinger by then-head coach Frank Reich. After Reich’s dismissal, new head coach Jeff Saturday reinstated Ryan as the starter. When a 4-7-1 team elects to play a 37-year-old over a 24-year-old, it speaks volumes to where Ehlinger’s future lies.

Also remember that ex-CFL head coach Scott Milanovich is the Colts quarterbacks coach and has no doubt done his homework on Rourke with his contacts north of the border. The Colts are also no strangers to signing CFL players having inked Nikola Kalinic and Jordan Murray from Hamilton this past off-season.

Then again, things can change quickly in the NFL – just ask Dave Dickenson.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

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