QB Mike Reilly ‘won’t speculate’ why former GM Ed Hervey, Lions parted ways

Photo courtesy: BC Lions

Quarterback Mike Reilly and Ed Hervey haven’t communicated since the former general manager left B.C.

That was by design from the signal caller’s side.

“Because of the grievance, I didn’t feel like it was appropriate for me to be talking with anybody affiliated with the team either currently or in the past,” Reilly said in a videoconference.

Reilly and the Lions came to a contract settlement approximately three months after his grievance was filed for guaranteed money owed by the franchise. The veteran QB received the $250,000 which had been signed and agreed upon by both the team and player in February 2019.

Hervey stepped down from his GM post in October. He was the man who executed the paperwork for Reilly to return to the west coast. The consensus conjecture around the CFL was that Hervey had been forced out by the Lions after the contract issue came to be known following the cancellation of the 2020 season, but that hasn’t been substantiated.

“I honestly can’t speak to you about that. That’s between Ed and the B.C. Lions and I won’t speculate. I know everybody has their speculations of how and why and this and that,” Reilly said.

“I actually haven’t had a chance to speak with Ed to talk to him to find out all of the reasons. Those are decisions that were made between him and the B.C. Lions. I can’t speak to why it is, those would be questions you would have to ask somebody else.”

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It was Hervey who provided the first opportunity for Reilly to be a starting quarterback in the three-down league with Edmonton. Hervey and Reilly won a Grey Cup together in 2015 and teamed up in B.C. to try and build a consistent CFL championship contender. However, Reilly broke his wrist and the Lions missed the playoffs at 5-13, last place in the West Division last season.

“I do know for a while Ed was dealing with some challenging things that didn’t have anything to do with football. Ed means a ton to me personally,” Reilly said.

“I hope whatever he does with the time off that he has, I hope that he’s healthy and that he’s able to enjoy whatever it is that he’s going to be focused on.”

Reilly now has a two-year contract that carries through the 2022 season, matching the original length of the four-year deal he signed in February 2019.

He collected a $375,000 signing bonus and he’s scheduled to make $525,000 in hard money during the 2021 season. In 2022, his salary is set at $575,000 for $1.1 million total. He’ll have $625,000 in his bank account before he plays his first game of the 2021 season.

The 35-year-old is happy to have the grievance resolved.

“There’s football, and there’s the business side of football. I haven’t dealt with the business side ever in my career. I have representation that takes care of that for me, and I have nothing but total trust in Dan (Vertlieb), my agent,” Reilly said.

“My agent comes to me with the information that he has and presents it to me and I don’t ever have any direct contract with any team. Whether it’s B.C. or Edmonton, or any other teams that we’ve ever negotiated with in the past, which have been a number of teams around the league.”

Many people across North America took notice of Reilly deleting his Twitter account. It was a decision he made after a talk with his wife Emily when they were doing yard work at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He didn’t want to be influenced by the negative tone on the platform.

“I found myself from the months of March moving on all consumed with reading the news — CFL news, stuff about the pandemic, coronavirus, COVID-19. It was a bombardment of negative information and stuff that made you really not feel great about the situation that the world in general was in,” Reilly said.

“I don’t like to allow people into my headspace. I want to be able to form my own opinions of whether or not I’m going to have a good day based on my experiences, not on something that I read somebody typing on the Internet.”

Reilly plans to be more public again as he resumes his role as the face of the Lions’ franchise while the CFL moves towards playing football in 2021.