COMMENTARY: Edmonton Eskimos move on from Mike Reilly
Football is the ultimate team sport.
You need good players, you need good teammates.
You also need a good plan.
Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland had a plan for day one of CFL free agency on Tuesday. In fact, he had several plans.
Plan A was Mike Reilly — but Reilly’s plan A was the B.C. Lions.
So Sunderland went on to plan B, and that turned out to be a home run.
Trevor Harris was plan B and also the linchpin to other signings. He signed with the Eskimos shortly after free agency opened at 10 a.m. and then helped recruit other players like Ottawa Redblacks teammates Greg Ellingson and SirVincent Rogers.
He also made a call to Calgary receiver DaVarius Daniels.
WATCH BELOW: Edmonton Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland talks about newly acquired quarterback Trevor Harris
The reason Harris chose Edmonton and helped convince others to join him was because of his belief in GM Brock Sunderland and coach Jason Maas and the culture they want to create in the Eskimos dressing room.
“Lets put this thing together and go get a cup this year,” was Harris’ quote from Tuesday.
Sunderland decided early on that if he couldn’t have the best player, he would put together the best team. When free agency opened he was the most aggressive and most successful general manager in the CFL.
It’s February, I know. No one wins the Grey Cup in February, but Sunderland and the Eskimos won the day, and that matters.
It’s clear that losing Mike Reilly is not going to stand in the way of the Eskimos ultimate goal of winning another Grey Cup.
Mike Reilly is and always should be an Eskimos fan favourite. He is special.
WATCH BELOW: Quarterback Mike Reilly spent years “building incredible memories” with the Edmonton Eskimos. Signing with the BC Lions Tuesday, he reflected on his time with the organization
His presence on the field and in the community has been unmatched. He is the entire package. Someday he will go up on the Wall of Honour at Commonwealth Stadium and that should be a great day.
Reilly earned the right to go to free agency and choose where he wants to play, and the Eskimos earned the right to move on without him.
They did that with one of the most dramatic and potentially franchise-altering days in Eskimos history.
Morley Scott is the play-by-play announcer for the Edmonton Eskimos on 630 CHED. He also anchors sports during the 630 CHED Afternoon News.
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