Q&A: Ticats GM Eric Tillman on trading John Chick

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats traded veteran defensive lineman John Chick to the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday and we asked general manager Eric Tillman some questions about the deal.

What was the reasoning behind trading Chick to Edmonton at this point?

“It’s never easy to trade a veteran player.  It’s even more difficult to trade a man who has the highest respect of everyone in the organization as a man and as a teammate.  But, in this circumstance, it’s probably a win-win-win for John, for Edmonton and for us, too. The value of moving up to the second round from the fifth is significant.  The odds of selecting a future Canadian starter are certainly much higher, and, of course, there’s the added benefit of cap space.  From Edmonton’s perspective, they fill a need created by the Marcus Howard injury, and do so with a guy who already has two Grey Cup rings and who can help the Eskimos with their championship aspirations this season.  Right now, Edmonton understandably has a short-term view, where we definitely factored in the long-term perspective.”

How did this trade come together?

“Brock phoned me right after Marcus was hurt seriously in the Ottawa game, but Kent wasn’t ready to make a deal at that point.  But, since that initial call, more injuries have changed our ratio, losing three quality defensive tackles  Ted Laurent, Mike Atkinson and Evan Gill, all to six-game injured or longer.  That necessitated going all Americans inside at the tackle postions, and, starting Justin Capicciotti at defensive end. After seeing how well Justin played the other night, as well as the continued progress of Connor McGough, well, that certainly factored into our decision-making process when Brock called again last night.”

How did Chick take the news that he’d be dealt?

“John was surprised, but he handled the news with the class you would expect from him.  The hardest part is the human factor.   As you know, John and Catherine have eight kids, ranging from 11 to one.  He gets to jump on a plane and embrace a new opportunity.  She, on the flip side, gets instant chaos.  For most of us, just the thought of eight children is unfathomable.  Kent and I understand the stress this business places on mothers and kids.  As such, we talked with John today about being helpful to her and them in any way that we can during this transition. They’re special people and a special family.”

Drew Edwards is the founder of 3DownNation but has since wandered off. Beard in the photo not exactly as shown.