The Green Bay Packers are just two wins away from the Super Bowl, but that hasn’t stopped them from looking ahead to the future.
The Packers are expected to sign former Canadian Football League wide receiver Reggie Begelton to a reserve/future contract after he worked out for the team Tuesday afternoon, according to a report from TSN’s Farhan Lalji. He was granted release from the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday in order to pursue an opportunity in the NFL and had also worked out for the New Orleans Saints, among others.
Begelton just finished up his third season in the CFL as one of its most productive receivers, catching 102 passes for the Stampeders to tally a fourth-most 1,444 yards and third-most 10 touchdowns. He was named a CFL All-Star for the first time in his career and was also the Stampeders’ nomination for Most Outstanding Player in the league.
As is the case with NFL futures contracts, the Packers are simply claiming the rights to Begelton for the upcoming season, not signing him for their current playoff run. Teams are allowed to sign futures contracts with players as soon as the regular season ends, counting them against the salary cap and 90-man limit for next year’s training camp roster. Any player who did not finish the season on an active roster is eligible to sign such a deal.
While the impending signing of Begelton doesn’t do anything right now for the Packers (13-3) and their upcoming second-round playoff game at Lambeau Field on Jan. 12, it does add an interesting option to drive up competition among next year’s group of wideouts.
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Begelton Back Home After Starting Pro Career in Canada
While not nearly to the extent of many college basketball players who travel overseas every year to play professional basketball in Europe, Begelton had to leave the United States after his college career to get his first opportunity in professional football.
A modestly touted recruit coming out of high school, Begelton elected to roll with Lamar University in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, for his college career and was a record-setting sensation by the time his five years with the Cardinals were up. He finished with a program-best 227 career receptions and set a single-season record for 82 receptions as a sophomore. He also set a single-game record for catches with 18.
The route to professional football didn’t take at first, though, with him going undrafted in 2016 and receiving no other offers to play at a higher level. At 22, he briefly retired from the game before putting his efforts into training and working his way into an opportunity with Calgary in 2017.
He played in nine games during his first year with the Stampeders and was expected to have a large role going into his second season, but a broken arm cut him short after just seven games — during which he made 25 catches for 488 yards and a touchdown. Still, it didn’t appear to slow him down much after his return with a breakout career earning him looks from NFL squads.
The Packers could have a few spots up for grabs on their 2020 roster for wide receivers when training camp arrives next summer, something that will become clearer in the offseason. Fourth-year slot receiver Geronimo Allison is set to become an unrestricted free agent for next season, while Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow will both be exclusive restricted free agents.