EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos have aquired QB Mike Reilly from the BC Lions.
As part of the deal, the clubs have swapped second round selections in this year’s Canadian Draft with Edmonton shipping their second round selection in the 2014 Canadian Draft as well.
“Mike has the chance to be an elite quarterback in this league,” said Esks GM Ed Hervey. “This is a step toward stabilizing our quarterback position.”
Reilly, who under the terms of his contract would have been eligible for free agency in February, has signed an extension with the Green and Gold. As club policy, the terms of the contract are not disclosed. “I was approached by Edmonton GM Ed Hervey seeking permission to talk to Mike before the free agency period began and in light of Mike’s desire to explore opportunities to become a starting quarterback, I believed a trade was doable,” said Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. “We thank Mike for his time with the Lions and he will be missed.”
Reilly, 28, arrives in Edmonton looking to take over the starting job under centre. The Central Washington product started two games for the Lions in 2012, completing 53 of 77 passes for 694 yards and four touchdowns.
His first start saw him earn a 39-19 win over the Esks, while his second saw him drop a 41-21 decision to the Stampeders.
It comes as little surprise that the Lions were willing to part with their former backup QB, as GM Wally Buono hinted that Reilly was likely going to enter the free agent market.
The move comes 10 days after the Esks released veteran QB Steven Jyles. Following the release of Jyles, Esks GM Ed Hervey suggested that he was in the market for a new starting pivot that he hopes can lead the franchise for years to come.
“We have an opportunity to find a new quarterback and we wanted to establish room on the roster for that individual,” he said.
“We’re excited about the young group of quarterbacks that we could potentially bring in here, but we also understand that elite quarterbacks don’t just fall out of trees,” he added.