THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER -- Angus Reid has surprised many people by extending his CFL career - himself included.
The B.C. Lions centre signed on for a 13th season and, possibly a 14th, on Tuesday after he finished the 2012 campaign wondering about his future.
"I went into last season completely prepared that it was my last year,'' said Reid after a state-of-the-franchise luncheon with media heading into the Lions' 60th season.
Reid signed a two-year deal - one plus an option. The Lions also announced defensive back Ryan Phillips signed a contract extension.
"I'm one of the very fortunate athletes,'' said Reid. "Very few athletes ever get to end on their own terms, particularly playing 13 years. You can do it after year four or five sometimes. But you go this long, generally, the management will show you the door.''
When the season ended after a disappointing loss to the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL's Western Final, he felt he was looking around the team's B.C. Place dressing room for the last time and also contemplated retirement as he cleaned out his locker at the team's Surrey, B.C., training facility.
Although Reid spoke of his desire to return that day, he wanted to see if he was physically and mentally ready to handle the long off-season training regimen after having surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow and clean up debris on his left hand and right wrist.
Now, he is looking forward to helping the Lions train his replacement.
"I wanted to be involved in helping groom the next centre,'' said Reid.
General manager Wally Buono said the Lions are looking to replace Reid with Matt Norman, until now a guard, who excelled as a rookie while also taking much of his first CFL season off to pursue his teaching studies before returning for the Western Final.
The mentoring role was not something that Reid, who had to battle to keep his job in 2010 after dealing with a broken foot, was ready to accept initially.
"I had never taken a personal stake, because a few years ago I was still in the meat of my career,'' said Reid. "You wouldn't want to groom someone to take your job while you're still in the meat of it. But I'm nearing the end now, if not past my due date. ... Anybody that has a job for a long time, I think it's part of their responsibility to help mentor the next person to take over.
"So, when that time does occur, hopefully, it's a seamless transition.''