Esks GM Sunderland already shopping for Maas replacement: report

So Sportsnet’s Arash Madani dropped a little bomb into his Twitter feed Wednesday that casts doubt on the future of Edmonton Eskimos head coach Jason Maas.

Now, opinions on Madani are mixed in CFL circles (full disclosure, he was a 3Down contributor for a time) but his sources are generally impeccable. Before he became a broadcaster, Madani worked for two teams and he has maintained relationships across the league.

Madani’s report raises two issues. The first and most obvious is that Maas may be on his way out in Edmonton. The Esks were 5-2 to start the season but lost four of their last five and have been eliminated from playoff contention. PostMedia’s Gerry Moddejonge reported last week that Maas may have lost the locker room and there have been questions about his sideline demeanour and in-game decision making. Columnist Terry Jones seems to think that both Sunderland and Maas will be back but if Sunderland is already shopping for replacements…

The other important element of Madani’s report is that if it’s accurate – and we have no reason to believe it isn’t – then Sunderland is guilty of tampering. Assistant coaches and coordinators on other teams are under contract until at least the end of the season (and sometimes beyond) and the CFL supposedly cracked down on tampering under former commissioner Jeffery Orridge. It will be interesting to see if the CFL investigates whether Sunderland has indeed been whispering sweet nothings to coaches around the league.

Let the CFL’s silly season begin.

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