Mike Reilly is a huge star in the CFL. The Edmonton QB has has won a Grey Cup (2015) and a CFL Most Outstanding Player Award (2017).
Bo Levi Mitchell is huge star in the CFL. The Calgary QB has won 2 Grey Cups (2014, 2018) and has two CFL MOP awards, most recently last year.
Both men are free agents as we approach the 2019 CFL season. Both would make a huge difference to any team they played for.
The difference is Mitchell has had a series of NFL workouts and could well start this season with an NFL team. Not to mention he is on record repeatedly saying in the CFL it’s Calgary and Calgary alone.
Which means Reilly really is the CFL big fish this off-season. Where he goes could affect the direction of a lot of other players and teams too.
So let’s take a look at the CFL teams with an interest and rate their chances of landing the big fish this off-season.
At this time of year a lot of rumours tend to swirl. Amongst those rumours are reports that the Esks have made Reilly the best possible offers they can.
Reilly has a strong relationship with Eskimos head coach Jason Maas & would have been pleased when he was retained at the end of last season.
He knows how to run this offence to perfection and this may be a comfortable call for him to make.
Speaking of familiarity with an offensive system. Riders OC Steve McAdoo was in the same role for two seasons with Edmonton, including 2015 when Reilly led Edmonton to a Grey Cup win.
This was a team that won with average QB play last season. They could be a monster with great QB play. Can they sell that to Reilly?
Back to it being the time of year for rumours to be swirling. One of the strongest rumours out there has been connecting Reilly with the Lions.
Lions GM Ed Hervey brought Reilly to Edmonton prior to the 2013 season. He would surely like to see him have the same impact in Vancouver.
Not only is there a personal connection but the Lions have another box they can tick. The move would take Reilly much closer to his off-season home in Seattle, where his wife and family still reside most of the season.
Who has the inside track?
Of course it’s nothing but speculation. If I had to guess though I would say the Lions would be my favourites very closely followed by the Esks.
Reilly has suggested that he might not sign a contract until a new CBA is signed. Whether that will affect his final decision remains an open question.
The one thing we should always expect from sport too is the unexpected. Could this all unfold in completely unforeseen ways? There is always that chance.
Could it affect the other quarterbacks and their contract positions around the league? In some cases. Yes – absolutely.
It is going to be fascinating watching it all play out. Wherever the big fish is finally landed, don’t be surprised to see him make a big splash in 2019 league play.
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