B.C. Lions reach contract settlement with quarterback Mike Reilly

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions and quarterback Mike Reilly have reached a contract settlement that has resulted in Reilly signing a new two-year deal that keeps him with the team through the 2022 season.

Reilly obtained his full grievance of $250,000, which is the largest settlement in the history of the CFL Players’ Association. Prior to Neil McEvoy being named co-general manager, there was no movement between Reilly and the Lions. However, the rookie GM brought the sides together, including Reilly and his agent Dan Vertlieb.

In the new pact, Reilly earns a signing bonus of $375,000. For 2021, he’s scheduled to make $525,000 in hard money, and for 2022 it will be $575,000 — $1.1 million total over the two seasons. Before Reilly plays a game in 2021, he’ll have $625,000 in his bank account.

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“I’m beyond excited to continue preparing for next season and to have all the business stuff behind us,” Reilly said in a statement.

The 35-year-old Reilly will enter his eleventh CFL season in 2021 and second back in B.C. after re-joining the Leos as a free agent in February 2019. Reilly’s 3,897 passing yards last season moved him into 15th on the three-down league’s all-time list with 31,522 total. It was also the fifth time in his career he threw for at least 20 touchdowns.

Reilly previously played in 99 games over six seasons with the Edmonton Football Team and passed for 26,929 yards with 144 touchdowns versus 82 interceptions. He led Edmonton to a Grey Cup in 2015 when he was named Grey Cup MVP in the victory over Ottawa. He also won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award in 2017.

The native of Kennewick, Washington began his CFL career with the Lions in 2010 and quickly went from the practice squad to backup behind Travis Lulay. Reilly started two games in the 2012 season, passing for 684 yards with four touchdowns against two interceptions while leading the Lions to a pair of victories to help the team finish first place in the West Division with a 13-5 record.

Talkative Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ all-star linebacker Simoni Lawrence said it best about Reilly: “Mike doesn’t say too much. Mike gets paid, he just chills.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.