January 17, 2013

Buono hints that Reilly will likely pursue free agency

Rebecca Rempel/BC Lions

CFL.ca Staff

VANCOUVER — In the wake of inking franchise pivot Travis Lulay to a contract through 2015, the Lions may be forced to surrender backup Mike Reilly to free agency in February.

Reilly, who proved to be very capable filling in for an injured Lulay in 2012 both as a starter and off the bench, played out his option year and Lions general manager Wally Buono stated that he expects the 27-year-old to pursue free-agent options.

“I knew that if (the club re-signed Lulay), then (Reilly) would probably have a harder look at free agency,” said Buono at the press conference to announce Lulay’s extension. “For Mike’s sake, if I was his agent, I would probably recommend that.

“If you’re honest, Mike wants to be in a position where he’s going to be given a chance to start.”

Reilly has made it known he wants to be a CFL starter, and Buono expects he will garner attention from other CFL clubs.

The Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, among others, have needs at quarterback, and Reilly worked out for the  Jacksonville Jaguars this winter.

Reilly completed 52 of 57 passes for 682 yards and 4 touchdown passes while rushing for 122 yards and two majors on 34 carries in 2012.

– With files from The Canadian Press