Facing 'concern injury-wise', Stampeders part ways with Ka'Deem Carey

GM/head coach Dickenson confirms intent to get ‘younger’ at running back

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Ka’Deem Carey won’t be back with the Calgary Stampeders.

His days toting the ball for the Canadian Football League club are behind him.

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Too many injuries have taken their toll on one of the league’s most dynamic players, causing the Stampeders to go in a different direction at the running back position for the coming year.

“I spoke with Ka’Deem,” confirmed Stampeders GM/head coach Dave Dickenson. “He’ll be going to free agency, more than likely.

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“Ka’Deem has been a great Stampeder,” continued Dickenson. “But he did have some things that did cause us to have some concern injury-wise, and so we just felt like we would make the move and go younger.

“And it helps that we have a really good player with Dedrick Mills.”

Indeed, Mills — who was re-signed by the club last month — is now set to be the focal point of the Red and White ground game.

The significant dollar amount attached to the contract he signed makes it so and also makes it hard to bring Carey back into the Stampeders stable.

“We’ve decided to invest into Dedrick and bring Peyton Logan back,” Dickenson said. “And to improve competition, we have two other backs under contract, as well — (LeVante) Bellamy and BJ Emmons, who worked for (new running backs coach) Andre Bolduc last year in Saskatchewan.”

“Emmons is a good player, as well, that I think can push and do some things. So we’ve got a few of our guys back, but it’s gotten to a point Dedrick has proven that he can be a starter.”

Mills was the Stamps top rusher last season, as he racked up 802 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in 14 games including nine starts. The former NCAA Nebraska Cornhuskers star had a pair of 100-yard performances, and he also contributed 21 catches for 123 yards and three kickoff returns for 55 yards.

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In 20 career games over two seasons with the Red and White, Mills has 209 carries for 1,261 yards and six touchdowns as well as 34 catches for 228 yards.

As for Carey, his name has been linked to both the BC Lions and the Toronto Argonauts, although reports say the Lions have an agreement in place with fellow free-agent running back William Stanback.

No official announcement can be made on free-agent players moving on from their respective teams of last year and signing on with others until Tuesday.

Carey, who is believed to have signed a hefty contract extension with the Stamps of about $275,000 two years ago, has been plagued by injuries in his five years with the Stampeders and appeared in only nine games in 2023.

The former fourth-round NFL draft pick did, however, continue to make an impact when healthy, running for an average of 5.3 yards per carry for 476 total to go along with 156 receiving yards.

All totalled, Carey rolled up 2,855 rushing yards and a 5.8-yard per-carry average since arriving in Calgary in 2019. He also added 732 receiving yards on 90 receptions.

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“So Ka’Deem …,” Dickenson said, “if he wants to keep playing — he won’t be unemployed for long.”

The full list of last year’s Stampeders currently still unsigned by the club and still in line to become CFL free agents Tuesday is here:

RB Ka’Deem Carey
WR Colton Hunchak
WR Luther Hakunavanhu
OL Jamal Campbell
OL Ryan Sceviour
OL Hugh Thornton
DL Isaac Adeyemi-Bergland
DL Terrell McClain
DL Derek Wiggan
DL Mike Moore
LB Micah Awe
LB Brad Cowan
LB Silas Stewart
LB Jordan Herdman-Reed
LB Charlie Moore
DB Natrell Jamerson
DB Shaq Richardson
DB Nick Taylor

Reports have Adeyemi-Bergland having come to terms with the Montreal Alouettes.

With the Stamps reportedly agreeing to terms with fellow defensive lineman Ricky Walker, who had 37 tackles and five sacks in a full campaign last year with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, it looks as if veteran Wiggan — the Stamps’ Presidents’ Ring winner the last two seasons — might not be back with the club.

And according to reports Thursday, it looks as if the Stampeders have secured the services of offensive lineman Trevon Tate, who started 10 games and played tackle for the Argonauts in 2023.

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