The Saskatchewan Roughriders have extended GM Brendan Taman through 2015.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders' decision Thursday to give general manager Brendan Taman a two-year contract extension reads as an attempt to ensure some continuity, and that makes sense from a number of perspectives. First, Taman's contract was expiring following 2013, so this extension (which goes through the 2015 season) gives him the security to think long-term when building the club rather than focusing solely on winning now. Perhaps even more importantly, though, long-term stability at GM has worked out well for many CFL franchises recently. Having the right man in place and keeping him there can be a key to CFL success. Taman's accomplishments with the Riders haven't yet reached the level of most of the league's long-term GMs, but the team's betting that he can get there.
How much does continuity at general manager matter? Well, three of the last five Grey Cups have been won by long-tenured GMs. That would be Montreal's Jim Popp (who's been with the franchise since it was in Baltimore in 1994) in 2009 and 2010 and B.C.'s Wally Buono (who's been there since 2003) in 2011. Those franchises have been continually strong for most of the last decade, and continuity at the top's a key reason why. One of the other GMs to win is Toronto's Jim Barker, who counts as at least moderately-tenured (he won this season in his third year with the franchise, his second as GM). The exception is Calgary's John Hufnagel, who won in his first year with the team (2008), but the Stampeders' sustained success under Hufnagel since and their run to the Grey Cup game this year shows they've reaped the benefits of keeping him around for the long term.
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