Vancouver – When BC Lions return to training camp, club president Rick Lelachur hopes to throw star football alongside star quarterback Mike Reilly with his teammates.
Lelachoor told Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday for season ticket holders that he is confident the Relly Lions will be back when the CFL returns in 2021.
The league source confirmed last week that the 35-year-old had complained to the QB Lions that he had failed to pay the promised money.
Lelachoor said he would not discuss specific details of the player’s contract, but said Reilly was “an integral part of the BC Lions football club”.
“In 2019, we signed Mike to a four – year contract because we trusted him not only to be the man to win the quarterback, but also to be the best leader in the locker room and to support our community programs. That belief has not changed,” the president said.
Reilly was a free agent in February 2019, when he signed a four-year, 9 2.9 million deal with BC after six seasons with Edmonton Eskimos. The deal brought Kennevic, Wash., To the team that began its CFL career in 2010.
Under the deal, 000 250,000 is fully guaranteed and Reilly is expected to receive money after the league cancels the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ed Hervey, who brought Reilly back to BC, resigned as club GM on 16 October, citing personal reasons. Just 10 days later, franchise owner David Brawley died at the age of 79.
Lelachour said the club will work with Brawley’s estate to “determine the path of the new owner”.
Reilly became the face of the CFL in his decades-long career. He earned MVP honors in 2015 after helping Edmonton win the Gray Cup title and led the league in crossing the yards for three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018.
In 2019, he threw for 3,897 yards in 16 regular-season games with 20 TDs and 15 breaks, finishing last in the BC (5-13) West Division standings.
“This season has been very disappointing for us,” Lelachoor said Tuesday.
“We did not hesitate to end up with such a losing record,” he said.
The dismal results led to the shooting of rookie head coach Devon Claybrooks. Former Ottawa RedBlocks bench boss Rick Campbell was appointed to replace Claybrooks in December 2019.
“I stood on the other side playing against BC in 2019 and I saw it as a team that lost some tough games earlier this season,” Campbell said Tuesday. “You ‘re not dealing with bad football players. I think this is a good core group.”
The team that completes the remaining players from the 2019 team has brought “a few more pieces of the puzzle,” the coach added.
“Even if we don’t play this year, the BC Lion – and there’s a team of guys who understand how to be coaches too – and I think it’s invaluable,” Campbell said.
This report of the Canadian Press was first published on November 17, 2020.