Eskimos GM Sunderland doesn’t guarantee Maas will be back in 2019

Edmonton Eskimo general manager Brock Sunderland joined TSN radio during the team’s bye week to provide insight on a handful of hot topics.

Sunderland was asked if head coach Jason Maas, who signed a contract extension through the 2020 season in May, would return for the 2019 campaign.

“Right now our sole and entire purpose is on that final game and any and all evaluations, just like any other year, will be done after the season. And that’s the approach we’ll take,” Sunderland said.

While Maas and Sunderland are locked into matching deals through 2020, franchise quarterback Mike Reilly is set to become a free agent in the off-season. The expiring collective bargaining agreement has created uncertainty for the ability to re-sign Reilly or other free agents.

“Well, it’s extremely concerning and it does make it challenging. I would elaborate quite a bit more but we’ve got a strict warning from the league office that we could be fined if we do, so I’ll make a deal with you if you’re open to paying my fine I’ll give you as much detail as you want,” Sunderland said.

“Everybody on all parties whether it be the league office, the players’ association, certainly all of us in the roll I’m in – it’s better for everybody I believe if that can get rectified and solidified long before the night before training camp is supposed to open, no doubt about it.”

Sunderland is also worried about the American Alliance of Football taking talent away from the CFL.

“That’s almost a bigger concern for me personally and taking with other GMs around the league than the CBA. We’ve lost 12 players off our negotiation list already so it’s extremely challenging,” Sunderland said.

“They’re playing less games for more money, they’re doing that in their home country where maybe family and friends don’t have to travel or get a passport. A lot of times if they have a significant other it’s easier for them to get work right there. The big thing is they have a contract where they will let them out at any time to go to the NFL. So it’s hard to compete with that, especially when you throw in the exchange rate and so on and so forth.”

But the questions surrounding Maas and Reilly will be most important for the Eskimos future.

Must Read