B.C. willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to make Mike Reilly a ‘Lion again, and keep him’

B.C. Lions’ co-general manager Neil McEvoy has been in contact with quarterback Mike Reilly.

Reilly filed a grievance against the Lions in September for guaranteed money owed to him by the franchise. TSN 1040 radio’s Matt Sekeres asked McEvoy about the team’s current relationship with the 35-year-old quarterback.

“That’s a very, very legitimate question. I spoke with Mr. Reilly yesterday. We have spoken with his representation,” McEvoy said.

“He’s doing all the right things and we’re going to do whatever it takes to make him a B.C. Lion again, and keep him.”

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

According to 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk, when Reilly signed his contract worth $2.9 million in February 2019 — averaging $725,000 per season, which made him the highest-paid player in the CFL — there was additional paperwork that accompanied it.

The two sides inked an agreement that guaranteed the veteran passer a sizeable portion of his salary — believed to be in the $250,000 range. There is no language or wording in the collective bargaining agreement that prohibits teams from guaranteeing cash to players.

No one could have foreseen a global pandemic coming — if a full football schedule had been played in 2020, the quarterback would have received the entire value of his contract. That wasn’t the case and it’s forced Reilly, backed by the CFL Players’ Association, to obtain the payment to which both sides agreed during contract negotiations.

“We’re working and doing our due diligence,” McEvoy said. “Mike Reilly is a professional, he is a good man and he is going to be the B.C. Lions’ general like he was last year.”

Reilly started 16 games for the Lions last season, but his first year as the starter in B.C. was cut short due to a broken wrist. He passed for 3,897 yards, 20 touchdowns versus 15 interceptions while completing just under 70 percent of his attempts as the Lions went 5-13 and missed the playoffs in 2019.

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