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A team by team look at the Mike Reilly sweepstakes

A team by team look at the Mike Reilly sweepstakes

TORONTO — Within the age of social media, the place evaluation and hypothesis by no means sleep, Mike Reilly is on his option to turning into probably the most hyped free agent the Canadian Soccer League has ever seen.

Reilly can be an improve for any staff within the CFL, although the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats seem set at quarterback. For the opposite seven groups, nevertheless, it’ll be recreation on come Feb. 12 ought to Reilly stay and not using a contract.

That’s, in fact, the almost certainly state of affairs — that the 34-year-old, coming off the 2 greatest statistical seasons of his profession, will wait the remaining week and a half and see what groups across the league have to supply. In any case, even with the Eskimos reportedly making a robust push to signal an extension, Reilly has waited this lengthy.

Because the Mike Reilly sweepstakes strategy, let’s take a look at all 9 groups and contemplate their probabilities of touchdown the top-ranked free agent.

» View Free Agent Tracker
» Reilly leads prime 30 pending FAs
» O-linemen the lifeblood of CFL free company

It is the Mike Reilly (@Rikester13) Free Company Extravaganza!

The place will he be enjoying in 2019 ?

— CFL (@CFL) January 31, 2019


BC Lions

Whereas Vegas hasn’t weighed in (you already know, just like the Anthony Davis NBA commerce sweepstakes), you possibly can guess fairly simply that the BC Lions can be the betting favorite to land the highly-touted quarterback. In reality, Reilly returning to the place his profession started looks like a foregone conclusion for a lot of, and whenever you break all of it down, the logic is fairly sound.

Why he’ll signal…

There’s a compelling record of causes that Reilly would discover the BC Lions an interesting vacation spot, and it begins together with his familiarity with the group that first gave him the prospect to play skilled soccer. Reilly gained a Gray Cup with BC as a backup to Travis Lulay in 2011 earlier than being traded to Edmonton, the place he was allowed to turn out to be a starter.

Reilly would even have a sure consolation degree with present Lions basic supervisor Ed Hervey, who made the cope with Wally Buono to deliver Reilly to Edmonton again in 2013. Hervey made Reilly a franchise constructing block on the time, constructing a perennial contender and profitable a Gray Cup in 2015. The extent of belief between Reilly and Hervey might be a key issue within the Lions’ pitch.

There are a few different optics that make BC a beneficial touchdown spot for the 2017 Most Excellent Participant. Whereas Reilly can be nearer to his hometown of Kennewick, Wash. — roughly a six-and-a-half hour drive from Vancouver in response to Google Maps — he’d additionally get to play half his common season within the climate-controlled confines of BC Place.

Why he gained’t signal…

A number of quarterbacks have modified groups and had success within the CFL, however there’s all the time the component of danger concerned with any such motion. With the Lions, Reilly can be enjoying for the league’s youngest and most unproven teaching employees, from first-time head coach DeVone Claybrooks to place coaches Nik Lewis, Ryan Phillips, Drew Tate and Keith Stokes.

On the plus aspect, whereas he’d nonetheless should study a brand new offensive system, Reilly has performed underneath present offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson earlier than, who was the quarterbacks coach and passing recreation coordinator in Edmonton in 2014 and once more in 2015, the yr the Esks final gained the Gray Cup.

Ed Hervey and Mike Reilly gained a Gray Cup along with the Esks in 2015 (The Canadian Press)

Edmonton Eskimos

Regardless of being slated without spending a dime company, Reilly will nonetheless possible contemplate Edmonton amongst his prime locations as soon as the presents are available. Esks GM Brock Sunderland will proceed to be aggressive in his pursuit of the star quarterback, whereas Reilly’s current success and familiarity with the group can be troublesome to disregard.

Why he’ll signal…

Lions followers are in all probability already serious about their new No. 13 ‘Reilly’ jerseys, however let’s not get forward of ourselves. Simply because Reilly hasn’t signed an extension but doesn’t imply you need to rule out a return. In actuality, Reilly would in all probability discover it fairly troublesome to go away the town of Edmonton and the Eskimos group.

There’s a purpose franchise quarterbacks don’t transfer round a lot in at present’s CFL. Within the span of six seasons and one Gray Cup, Reilly and his household have cast a significant reference to the fan base and the group. Enterprise is enterprise, and suffice to say Reilly will do what’s greatest for himself and his household, however leaving all of that behind gained’t come with out unhappiness and problem contemplating his standing with the group.

One more reason for Reilly to remain is the teaching employees. Reilly has had one of the best three seasons of his profession beneath offensive-minded head coach Jason Maas, averaging 5,650 yards and 41 mixed touchdowns per season. On prime of profitable Most Excellent Participant in 2017, Reilly has, at occasions, threatened to interrupt single-season data with the Eskimos. Along with Maas, Reilly has additionally labored intently with newly-promoted offensive coordinator Jordan Maksymic, who’s been with the membership since 2011.

Why he gained’t signal…

Whereas Reilly has been with the Eskimos for six seasons, there have been a number of key departures round him, most notably Chris Jones, Ed Hervey and former offensive coordinator Carson Walch. Present Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland has had two seasons to construct a rapport with Reilly and Maas has had three, however is it sufficient to sway a choice?

Final season left a bitter style for everybody within the Esks group, because the 2018 Gray Cup hosts have been anticipated to compete for the West, solely to fall flat within the second half of the season and miss the playoffs for the primary time since 2013. The Eskimos misplaced six of their final 9 video games, ending fifth within the West.

From a participant personnel perspective, there are questions at receiver as Duke Williams and Bryant Mitchell are NFL-bound whereas Derel Walker might additionally depart. On the O-line, Matt O’Donnell was pressured to maneuver from guard to deal with following the departure of Joel Figueroa, because the Esks gave up 41 sacks, the third-most within the CFL. On defence, the Esks are hoping a change to defensive coordinator Phillip Lolley, who’s coached with the group earlier than, can spark the league’s sixth-ranked defence in 2018.



Saskatchewan Roughriders

With an all-world defence, inexperienced and white followers are dreaming of the chances of getting arguably the league’s prime quarterback behind centre. Nevertheless, simply as Chris Jones was getting ready his pitch for No. 13, the Riders’ head coach and common supervisor took a job with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. The QB query has lengthy puzzled the Riders group, however can Reilly be lured to Riderville?

Why he’ll signal…

After profitable a Gray Cup collectively in 2015, Chris Jones would have been a very huge cause for Reilly to enterprise to Riderville this low season. Nonetheless, there’s lots to love concerning the Riders in the event you’re Reilly, beginning with the CFL’s top-ranked defence. We’re speaking a few defensive juggernaut right here, one which carried the workforce to a 12-win season and a house playoff recreation in 2018 regardless of rating third-last within the league in each internet offence and offensive factors.

Whereas Jones is gone, Reilly does have a reference to newly-named head coach Craig Dickenson, who was a part of the Eskimos’ 2015 Gray Cup-winning employees. He’s additionally performed underneath Stephen McAdoo, who was the staff’s offensive coordinator that yr.

Positive, there’s uncertainty in Regina, however the identical might be stated for any CFL workforce this low season. On paper, with a defence nearly as good because the Riders’, Reilly signing with Saskatchewan would possible give him the perfect odds to compete for and win a championship in 2019. And naturally, profitable a Gray Cup in Saskatchewan would make Reilly a dwelling legend.

Why he gained’t signal…

With lots of their unfastened ends tied up heading into free company, we’re left to marvel how a lot cap area the Riders should function, and whether or not they could make as robust a push for Reilly as different groups. Both means, it’s onerous within the CFL to have each an elite quarterback and a top-notch defence. It’s unlikely the Riders might signal Reilly with out making sacrifices elsewhere.

One other query followers could be asking: who would Reilly throw the ball to? The Riders’ receiving corps is barely recognizable anymore, particularly after the departure of Jordan Williams-Lambert to the NFL. Whereas Reilly makes his receivers round him higher, GM Jeremy O’Day would possible have to make no less than one vital addition on the place.



Calgary Stampeders

Earlier within the week JC Sherritt traded in his Eskimos threads for the pink and white, so why not Mike Reilly? Whereas the Stamps proceed holding out hope that Bo Levi Mitchell returns, they’ll discover out for positive earlier than Feb. 12. If Mitchell indicators an NFL deal, might Reilly be enticed to signal with the CFL workforce that’s had probably the most success during the last decade?

Why he’ll signal…

You’ll be able to hear the hearts of Eskimos followers breaking already. OK, Reilly signing with the Stamps appears unlikely, however by no means underestimate the pull of Dave Dickenson and John Hufnagel. The Calgary Stampeders have been the mannequin of success within the final 10 years, and for Reilly, after lacking the playoffs in 2018, that’s obtained to be interesting.

Regardless of some key low season losses, the Stamps have a well-established teaching employees and among the best offensive strains within the CFL. They’ll even have some cap area to work with. Briefly, the transition from Bo Levi Mitchell to Mike Reilly can be as seamless as one might think about.

Why he gained’t signal…

The Stamps have already made it clear that if Bo Levi Mitchell leaves, they’ll pursue a extra confirmed, veteran choice relatively than entrust Nick Arbuckle with the beginning job — no less than immediately. The query then turns into whether or not the staff can be prepared to shut the door on Mitchell probably returning down the street ought to issues not work out within the NFL.

Additionally, picturing Mike Reilly in Stamps colors simply appears flawed.

The Waggle, Episode 142: Debating the QB panorama

With free company looming, Davis and Donnovan take a look at a number of the prime out there pending FA’s, together with some massive identify quarterbacks. Later, newly-minted Riders GM Jeremy O’Day stops by to speak about his whirlwind week.



It appeared like Trevor Harris and the REDBLACKS had a deal in place, however time is operating out. If Harris exams the market, do Rick Campbell and Marcel Desjardins swing for the fences for the No. 1 participant available on the market?

Why he’ll signal…

The REDBLACKS have been a mannequin group since increasing in 2014, profitable three division titles and showing in simply as many Gray Cup Championships, profitable one. Off the sector, the environment at TD Place and the excitement across the metropolis speaks to the success of franchise, which has had much more stability than its predecessors.

Along with the sustained success seen underneath Desjardins, offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo is seen as one of many prime up-and-coming coaches within the recreation. He runs a quarterback-friendly scheme that not solely restored Henry Burris‘ profession, serving to him win a Gray Cup after the age of 40 (Jason Maas additionally deserves credit score for this), but in addition helped Trevor Harris emerge as one of many CFL’s prime pivots. Reilly might put up actually huge numbers in Elizondo’s offence.

Lastly, the power of the East Division, or lack there of, might appeal to Reilly to the REDBLACKS. Whereas Hamilton is a staff on the rise, the Argos and Alouettes have struggled to seek out consistency. Enjoying within the East each season might give Reilly a neater path to the Gray Cup than he’s used to.

Why he gained’t signal…

Harris and the REDBLACKS nonetheless look like too good a wedding to separate, making a contract extension the likeliest of situations. Additionally, with no apparent connections between Reilly and the REDBLACKS group, Desjardins must provide you with fairly the pitch to outbid Edmonton and BC. Lastly, Ottawa is a great distance from house for the Reilly household.

Montreal Alouettes

It’s been an extended street again to respectability for Kavis Reed and the Als, however they could lastly be there after displaying vital enchancment over the latter half of final season. With continuity on the teaching employees and a few up-and-coming stars on each side of the ball, the Alouettes might shock in 2019, however is it sufficient to draw the CFL’s prime free agent?

Why he’ll signal…

The Alouettes benefited from improved quarterback play during the last 9 video games of 2018, as Johnny Manziel and Antonio Pipkin have emerged as professional prospects for the workforce shifting ahead. Regardless of such progress, the Alouettes would cease at nothing to land a confirmed star quarterback like Reilly.

With some good items round him, together with William Stanback and Eugene Lewis on offence, Reilly would immediately rework the Als right into a contender and supply much more which means to President and CEO Patrick Boivin’s imaginative and prescient on and off the sector. Reilly would additionally get to work with a veteran coach in Mike Sherman, whereas the town of Montreal has all the time been an interesting vacation spot for CFL free brokers.

Why he gained’t signal…

Regardless of improved play in the direction of the top of 2018, was it sufficient to restore the picture of a workforce that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014? Whereas Kavis Reed’s membership seems to be getting higher, the Alouettes are nonetheless seen as a rebuilding group, one thing that in all probability doesn’t attraction to the 34-year-old Reilly.

There’s a connection between Reilly and Reed, because the latter was the Eskimos’ head coach in 2013 when Reilly arrived in Edmonton, however a reunion doesn’t appear probably at this time limit.


Toronto Argonauts

Whereas the Argos have choices in James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson, each provided combined leads to their first prolonged alternatives in 2018. Reilly can be a particular improve for the Boatmen, one which Basic Supervisor Jim Popp would certainly leap at.

Why he’ll signal…

With the help of a robust possession group, Popp might pull out all of the stops in a bid to land Reilly. Toronto has all the time been an intriguing vacation spot totally free brokers, whereas Reilly might turn out to be the face of a corporation that’s on the lookout for a sure ‘pizzazz’ in a aggressive market.

The return of Corey Chamblin as defensive coordinator means the Argos ought to have a very good defence in 2019, whereas James Wilder Jr. and S.J. Inexperienced present a strong basis on the offensive aspect of the ball together with offensive linemen Chris Van Zeyl and Sean McEwen. Regardless of profitable simply 4 video games final season, the Boatmen can be a contender with Reilly main the huddle.

Why he gained’t signal…

There could possibly be a couple of street blocks within the Argos’ bid to signal Reilly, beginning with the offensive coordinator. They don’t have one but. Marcel Bellefeuille has been linked to the place, however the Argos higher determine it out quickly in the event that they plan on making an attempt to draw a big-name quarterback in free company.

It’s additionally onerous to think about Reilly becoming a member of a last-place staff. After lacking the playoffs in 2018, the league’s most prolific passer will attempt to set himself up for an opportunity to win a number of Gray Cups together with his new group. The Argos’ current monitor document works towards them.



Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Bombers basic supervisor Kyle Walters has already dedicated to Matt Nichols as his starter for 2019, all however ruling out the potential of Reilly heading to Winnipeg. Typically plans change, however the Bombers look like set for subsequent season as they construct on an already-established core.

Why he’ll signal…

Walters and Head Coach Mike O’Shea have constructed the Bombers right into a mannequin franchise within the CFL, making Winnipeg a pretty vacation spot for gamers hoping to win a Gray Cup. And whereas Nichols has established himself because the Bombers’ starter, Reilly would put the Blue and Gold excessive within the highly-competitive West Division.

Why he gained’t signal…

With Nichols underneath contract and a number of other pending free brokers nonetheless to be signed, the Bombers aren’t even serious about Reilly proper now. Nearly as good as Reilly is, continuity is an effective factor, and the Bombers ought to have it in 2019 with out making any massive splashes.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Ticats are one of many fortunate groups with a quarterback underneath contract in 2019, and he’s a superb one. Jeremiah Masoli has emerged as a top-three quarterback, main the league’s prime offence final season and getting the Ticats again within the Japanese Remaining. Hamilton won’t be an choice for the CFL’s prime free agent.

Why he’ll signal…

Nearly as good as Masoli has been, Reilly is a notch above. From Reilly’s perspective, offensive genius June Jones is a quarterback’s dream. Simply consider the numbers they might put up.

Why he gained’t signal…

Perhaps the Ticats might signal Reilly and commerce Masoli? Hold enjoying CFL Soccer Frenzy — one of these factor solely occurs in video video games.


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