More than a dozen B.C. Lions restructure deals to fund free agent shopping spree

New general manager Ed Hervey was able to convince several current B.C. Lion players to re-do their contracts so the team could be more active on the free agent market.

“I told them, we want to be active in free agency and that’s going to take a certain amount of money,” Hervey told Province reporter Ed Willes. “We spent a lot of time talking to players about the vision. It wasn’t a forced negotiation. It was a conversation about choosing to be a part of it nor not.”

The list of new acquisitions included defensive backs Otha Foster, A.J. Jefferson and Garry Peters, Canadian receiver Corey Watson, defensive lineman Euclid Cummings as well as offensive linemen Joel Figueroa, Jeremy Lewis and Chris Greaves. The team has added 12 players in total.

Quarterback Jon Jennings, perennial all-star linebacker Solomon Elimimian and top receivers Manny Arceneaux and Bryan Burnham were among the group of players who restructured deals to give Hervey increased funds.

“This is a thank-you to all the players who helped us,” Hervey said. “We would not have been able to get these players without their willingness to buy in.”

There was a strategy for how Hervey went about it.

“You can take from two to get what you need and disrupt the whole room or you can request a small portion from a large group,” Hervey said. “We weren’t blowing up the team. We were going to keep our core group together, but our core group had to work with us.”