Roughriders have not dealt top draft pick: official
CFL club only interested in trade if it can fetch Canadian starter, additional picks
The Saskatchewan Roughriders still own the first pick of the 2012 Canadian Canadian college draft.
A club spokesman confirmed that Thursday after the Edmonton Eskimos announced earlier that Saskatchewan Huskies offensive lineman Ben Heenan would be in the Alberta city for a visit.
The Roughriders and Eskimos hold the first and second picks, respectively, in the May 3 draft with Heenan projected to be taken first overall.
Heenan's arrival in Edmonton prompted speculation that the Eskimos had reached a deal with the Riders for the No. 1 pick and therefore could bring Heenan to town knowing they'd be drafting him next week.
On Thursday, officials with both the Roughriders and Eskimos said no deal has been made between the two clubs for the No. 1 pick and that Heenan's visit to Alberta was just a chance for him to tour Edmonton's facility.
The Riders' official added the Saskatchewan club has made "no deal" with any CFL club for the No. 1 pick.
Adding a quality player who is from Saskatchewan — the six-foot-four, 310-pound Heenan is a native of Grand Coulee — appears to be a win-win situation for the Roughriders, who missed the CFL playoffs last season. However, the club added veteran offensive linemen Brendon LaBatte and Dominic Picard in free agency this off-season and is working on a contract extension with Chris Best, another veteran.
Edmonton general manager Eric Tillman has been open about his admiration of Heenan and several league sources have said Tillman has been working hard to make a deal with Saskatchewan for the top pick of the draft in order to have a shot at Heenan.
Saskatchewan GM Brendan Taman has said he would like to hold on to the No. 1 selection and would only consider giving it up if another team was willing to surrender a Canadian starter and additional picks to the Riders.