April 25, 2016. Eric Rogers to follow in Cameron Wake's footsteps?
"Levi’s Stadium" (CC BY 2.0) by cjmartin
Eric Rogers will be aiming to become the next breakout star to emerge from the Canadian Football League following his move to the San Francisco 49ers.
The 25-year-old worked out for half of the NFL during free agency after he was allowed to leave the Calgary Stampeders.
Rogers had an outstanding campaign for the Stampeders in the 2015 season, recording 87 receptions for 1,448 yards and 10 touchdowns.
As a result of his impressive displays, teams from around the NFL were scrambling to secure the wideout’s signature.
The San Francisco 49ers beat the competition by offering Rogers a lucrative deal to move to the Bay Area, with $100,000 of his deal guaranteed by the NFC West outfit.
Rogers has a strong chance to make the roster following the departure of Anquan Boldin in the off-season, while his size will offer intrigue for new head coach Chip Kelly.
The receiver should not expect to join a winning team immediately, considering that when this article was produced the NFL betting odds have the 49ers at 80/1 to win the Super Bowl in the 2016 campaign.
However, Rogers will be well aware that one of his CFL predecessors has carved out a reputation as one of the game’s finest defenders despite his team’s struggles.
Cameron Wake is the biggest success story to emerge from the CFL since signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2009.
Wake was undrafted out of the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2005, although he did sign with the New York Giants following the Draft.
His stint with the NFC East outfit would last only two months as he was cut and did not return to the game until he penned a deal to join the BC Lions in 2007.
Wake made an instant impact with the club, notching 16 sacks after moving from linebacker to defensive end, while he followed up his debut campaign with a stronger season in 2008.
He was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player after collating 23 sacks over the course of the campaign, which brought huge interest from the NFL.
Wake worked out for eight teams before penning a deal with the Dolphins, where he has become one of the stars of the league.
The 34-year-old has recorded 70 sacks in his seven-year career and was named a first-team All Pro in 2012, while also earning second-team plaudits in 2010 and 2014.
Rogers will have hope beyond hope that he can achieve the same level of success that Wake has enjoyed since his transition across the border.
Rogers moved to the CFL by penning a deal with the Ottawa Redbacks, although once he failed to make the grade before the Stampeders picked him up in 2014.
The wideout found his form to great effect by leading the league in touchdowns and receiving yards to earn his NFL shot.
He has the physical skills to become a threat in the league, but due to uncertainty over the quarterback position at the 49ers, he may have to wait to breakout in the NFL.
Underdog players from around the sport will be watching his progress with baited breath to see if another man can rise from nowhere to light up the league.