Edmonton Eskimos sign 1st-round pick Mathieu Betts

Sept. 5: The Edmonton Eskimos new president and CEO Chris Presson started his new job this month. He joined us to talk about the upcoming Labour Day classic.

He’s going from the Bears to the team with the polar bear mascot.

A week-and-a-half after being cut by the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Mathieu Betts has signed with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Betts, who will play on the Eskimos defensive line, played four pre-season games at linebacker for the Bears before being let go.

READ MORE: Stampeders blast short-handed Eskimos in Labour Day rematch

“It was important for me to do my best to try to fit in with an NFL team, to do this process from top to bottom. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up the way I wanted it to,” said Betts.

“In my head, it was pretty clear I wanted to be here, to finish the season here. The last thing I wanted was to sit out a football season.”

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The Eskimos drafted Betts third overall in the CFL Draft on May 2. He twice won the Vanier Cup while playing for Laval. Betts is the only player to be named the best lineman in U-Sports three straight seasons (2016-18).

“He was the number one guy on our board. When you have someone that talented, we certainly expect him to help us right away,” said general manager Brock Sunderland. “I also think we need to be realistic and understand expectations.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos lose 25-9 to Calgary Stampeders in Labour Day Classic

“He’s not going to walk in and start right away, but he’s going to get reps,” said head coach Jason Maas.

“The expectation is he’s going to do the job we drafted him to do.”

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The Eskimos are on a bye week and will host Hamilton on Sept. 20.

Maas was asked about quarterback Trevor Harris, who didn’t finish Saturday’s game against Calgary.

“It’s an upper body injury, obviously to his throwing arm. We’re going to go day-to-day with him,” Maas said. “The expectation is each day he’s going to get better.”

Watch below (Sept. 6): If you are at the Edmonton Eskimos home game on Saturday, you could be part of our documentary and be seen on TV with Global News ALL IN! Kevin Karius explains how to get involved.

Going to the Edmonton Eskimos game? Be part of Global News ALL IN!
Going to the Edmonton Eskimos game? Be part of Global News ALL IN!