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Eskimos give Mike Reilly permission to speak with CFL teams before free agency

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The Edmonton Eskimos have given teams – the B.C. Lions – permission to speak with prized pending free agent quarterback Mike Reilly ahead of the official opening of CFL free agency on Feb. 12, per sources.

According to the CFL, it’s at the club’s discretion as to whether they wish to allow one of their players to speak with another team.

By allowing Reilly to talk with potential suitors the Eskimos will get a sense of where the 34-year-old stands with regards to making a decision about signing his next contract and prepare accordingly for free agency.

Reilly was the highest paid player in the CFL last season making over $500,000. That salary could jump substantially as sources around the league believe Reilly could command in the range of $700,000.

Reilly has thrown for over 5,000 yards in three straight CFL seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos, throwing for a career-high 5,830 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2017, earning the CFL most outstanding player award.

Back in 2015, Reilly led the Eskimos to a Grey Cup championship and earned CFL title game MVP honours. Reilly was originally acquired by the Eskimos in January 2013 when then-general manager Ed Hervey sent two second-round draft picks (2013 and 2014) to B.C. for the QB and the Lions’ second-round selection in 2013. Reilly apprenticed behind Travis Lulay in B.C. for three seasons, part of the Lions Grey Cup-winning squad in 2011.

That connection with Hervey has led to speculation the Lions are front runners to acquire Reilly in free agency.

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Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.

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