Henry Burris felt some type of way when the Ottawa Redblacks told Trevor Harris the starting quarterback job would his for the 2017 season.
“I took a pay cut to make sure we got the receivers (Brad Sinopoli, Chris Williams and Ellingson) signed. The next year, I took a pay cut so they could sign Trevor. When they guaranteed Trevor a starting job, I didn’t like it – I found out about it through my agent — that shows you how that goes,” Burris told Ottawa Sun reporter Tim Baines.
“Heck yeah, I was pissed. It’s a hard pill to swallow. In year two, your team is in the Grey Cup. In year three, you win the Grey Cup. And you get forced out. When I found out, I knew when I was retiring. You never promise any guy a starting job. Go earn it.”
Burris enjoyed one of the best seasons of his 17-year CFL career in 2015, throwing for a league-leading 5,703 yards while guiding Ottawa to a Grey Cup appearance. At 41 years old, Burris passed for 461 yards and three touchdowns – including the game-winner to Ernest Jackson in overtime — and earned Grey Cup MVP for his performance.
When Burris retired from pro football he had three Grey Cups, two CFL title game MVP hnours, two CFL Most Outstanding Player awards on his resume with 63,369 passing yards and 373 touchdowns. Burris is a surefire Canadian Football Hall of Famer.
“If I look at what Trevor and I have achieved – if you look at my resume, mine supersedes his and it’s not even close. It didn’t send a good message. I know he had to do what he had to do to get a quarterback, but look at where he is now because of that decision,” Burris said.
“The team sees what’s happening. You can’t fool the players. If you’re asking your main guy, the guy who takes you to the Grey Cup, and you’re promising his job to somebody else – how are you going to explain that to your team, how are you going to explain that to the league? Players know everybody, players talk.”