Solomon Elimimian’s agent has concerns about the way Lions general manager Ed Hervey handled the release of his star client.
“I just think if you knew, I know from sources that he was intending on releasing him, period at all this year, he should’ve done it before free agency and given Solomon an opportunity to go and have a fair chance to get wages he deserves. Not a couple weeks before camp and then say we’re above our salary cap. If you knew you were going to go above your salary cap maybe you don’t sign a couple people and keep Solomon and your promise to him. It’s all-around shady business,” Bardia Ghahremani said on Sportsnet 650 radio in Vancouver.
It’s not the first time Ghahremani has put Hervey in his sights. He fired back at B.C.’s GM after Hervey questioned the work ethic of former Lions quarterback Jon Jennings, also a Ghahremani client. Jennings wasn’t re-signed by the Lions and Elimimian won’t be a member of the club anymore.
“Unfortunately, it all started about a year ago when Solomon restructured his contract while Wally was still there and Ed tells him, ‘Hey, look, we want you here, we’ll give you another year.’ That was Solly’s get-back from reducing his contract from $225,000 to $200,000 last year, we’ll give you another year,” Ghahremani said.
“Solly really doesn’t want to leave this city, this is where he wants to be. But unfortunately, at the end of the season, after he does this restructure, rumours start flying that Ed’s saying he’s not going to be on our roster next year. I heard it from multiple sources. It started coming out there and we would ask Ed, Solomon would, and Ed would give him no answer.”
Ghahremani has been an agent for 18 years with both CFL and NFL clients and said he’s never experienced a situation like what’s played out with Elimimian and the Lions.
“I’ve just never seen this type of I don’t want to say disrespect, but treatment towards a player of Solomon’s calibre. It’s better to be up front and clear. Not say one thing and do another. You treat players with a little bit more respect and I think you get respect when you do that,” Ghahremani said.
“I see both sides. With this case, I get it, I understand that you have to make moves and move on. I just think to do business the right way you just have to make it up front and give the chance to the player to go somewhere else and have an opportunity – not two weeks before training camp. How are you this whole time not saying a word? Then all of a sudden we’re going to part ways. There’s a lot of teams that make business decisions, but there’s just a right way to do it.”
The 32-year-old played nine years in Vancouver, winning a Grey Cup in 2011 and becoming the first defensive player to be named CFL MOP in 2014. Elimimian made 745 tackles, 36 special teams stops, 29 sacks, eight interceptions and eight forced fumbles in 118 career games in a Lions uniform. The two-time Most Outstanding Defensive Player is supposed to be released by B.C. and hit the open market for the first time in his career.
“It’s a matter of finding the right fit and multiple teams are interested. We’ll get him a new job, he’ll get a decent salary for the year, but it probably won’t be close to what he would’ve got as a free agent,” Ghahremani said.
“Everybody is up against the cap right now. Wherever he ends up going they’re probably going to cut a couple guys to get him in there because he is the top tier linebacker still.”