Farhan Lalji: ‘I absolutely believe this was tied to Ed (Hervey)’s departure from the club’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

It turns out that Ed Hervey’s departure from the B.C. Lions may not have been due to personal reasons after all.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

TSN’s Farhan Lalji spoke with Dustin Nielson on TSN1260 on Wednesday, saying he believes the grievance filed by Mike Reilly played a role in Hervey resigning from his position as general manager.

“The league, the owner, and the president didn’t know this document existed until the agent put it forward to one of those two parties, so yes, I absolutely believe this was tied to Ed (Hervey)’s departure from the club,” said Lalji.

The document to which Lalji referred is an agreement that falls outside of Reilly’s registered contract. As Justin Dunk reported on Monday, this extra document guaranteed Reilly approximately $250,000 of his salary.

Franchise quarterback Mike Reilly files grievance against Lions for guaranteed money

“Between the two parties (Reilly and the Lions), they’re trying to settle it before it gets to arbitration. The grievance has been filed. It’s in process, but as with any grievance, you can settle before it gets to arbitration.”

While many have been quick to criticize Hervey for his handling of Reilly’s contract, Lalji stresses that the arrangement wasn’t a form of salary cap circumvention.

“This was not new money. This was not, ‘OK, he’s due $725,000 and here’s an extra $250,000 that’s coming on the side in a brown paper bag.’ Ultimately, this was money that was going to be paid by the club legitimately to the player as part of his contract. Nobody could have predicted a pandemic and a cancelled season.”

This doesn’t mean that what Hervey did was completely above board.

“From the league perspective, this was outside the bounds of a contract. From the player’s perspective, this was signed off on by an individual who had the authority to sign on behalf of the club. And in the CBA, while side deals are theoretically prohibited, side deals can be dealt with in the form of grievances and arbitration, so there’s an acknowledgement that, while they’re prohibited, they still exist.”

West coast shocker: Ed Hervey steps down as Lions general manager


It’s unlikely that an arbitrator will be available to hear Reilly’s grievance until 2021, which means a resolution to this conflict is far from imminent. The quarterback’s contract with B.C. runs through the 2023 season.