He wasn’t the most high profile free agent the Roughriders signed this off-season, but make no mistake, Xavier Fulton was a crucial pick up for Saskatchewan.
It was just over a month ago when Bruce Campbell, a strong candidate to fill the Riders vacant left tackle position, suddenly announced his retirement from the CFL.
All of the sudden the Riders were left with a glaring need for a veteran offensive lineman. Enter Xavier Fulton.
After spending the off-season exploring potential NFL opportunities with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, Fulton decided the best thing for his career would be to return to the CFL.
The 30-year-old says he fielded offers from a few CFL teams, but he couldn’t pass on the chance to come back to Saskatchewan.
“It feels great, this has become home to me,” Fulton said. “I got my cat at the house, my fiancée at the house, it’s a good feeling all over again.”
Fulton’s presence should immediately help stabilize the Riders offensive line. He’s veteran who has started in 65 CFL games, every single one with Saskatchewan.
“X (Fulton) has done a real nice job fitting in with our locker room and being the guy that he is, being a leader” Riders haed coach and GM Chris Jones said.
With Fulton back in the mix, Saskatchewan now has four returning starters on its offensive line. Fulton believes that the chemistry he established in 2015 with Brendon LaBatte, Chris Best, and Dan Clark will pay off for the Riders this season.
“It’s big, it makes the communication aspect go that much smoother,” Fulton said. “It just happens that much quicker with guys you know and are familiar with.”
The Riders will kick off their 2016 pre-season on June 11 in Regina against the B.C. Lions.