‘Franchise quarterback’ Trevor Harris ‘disagreed’ with Elks decision not to play him

The Edmonton Elks and quarterback Trevor Harris agreed to disagree and that’s what led to him being traded out of the Alberta capital.

Head coach Jaime Elizondo elevated rookie QB Taylor Cornelius over Harris in the starting role for Week 11 and that was the beginning of the end.

“By the Ottawa week they cleared me for practice and I was ready to play. They chose to go the route with Taylor because they were unsure of me being able to play, I think that was more Jaime’s call that he wanted to go with Taylor,” Harris said.

“I’m not questioning that decision, there’s a chain of command and my job is to be available to play. They basically wanted that to be the week and it was a medical deal. The next week, went out and didn’t play my best at all. That’s where after that they made the decision to go this route.”

The 35-year-old completed 9-of-22 passes for 87 yards in Week 10 against the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. He was benched in the fourth quarter of Edmonton’s 30-3 loss at IG Field and that was the last time Harris suited up for the Elks. Nine days later general manager Brock Sunderland shipped him to the Alouettes for defensive lineman Antonio Simmons.

“Each team has a certain direction they want to go, that’s why you hire a head coach and general manager. They felt it was best to go the opposite route. I disagreed with them not playing me, but that’s because I’m confident in who I am and the skill set that I have to play this beautiful game in this country,” Harris said.

“It didn’t end how we anticipated, but I have so much love for the guys in the locker room there and the honesty with which Brock Sunderland dealt with me. Although we disagree on certain things of the decisions that were made, that’s neither here nor there, you’re always going to disagree — I know who I am and what I have to offer.”

Harris being made available on the trade market was a stark contrast to Edmonton anointing him the franchise man in February 2019 when the Elks signed him to a $1.1 million dollar deal. In six games with the green and gold this season, Harris has completed 135-of-192 (70 percent) of his passes for 1,568 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

“Over the last month or so I could sense a shift. I started feeling the shift after the rematch against Calgary, the game after I hurt my neck. I tried to gut through it, I passed all the concussion protocols, but something felt off,” Harris said.

“I ended up getting an MRI on my neck. It took some time for it to heal. The doctors told me that I shouldn’t play. Brock has always been great to me, not always the most pleasant conversations, but as a man you can respect anybody that’s honest with you. It was a football decision for them. ”

The added bonus for Montreal acquiring him is the fact that he currently has another year left on his contract which runs through next season. Harris is scheduled for a $300,000 roster bonus on February 1, 2022 as part of his $550,000 compensation for next year — if needed the agreement can be renegotiated in various ways.

“The guys play hard for coach Khari Jones, that’s very evident,” Harris said.

“I feel like I’m in the prime of my career, physically and mentally — I feel like I’ve got five good years in my prime left.”

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