VANCOUVER — In one of the most historic free agent signings in league history, the BC Lions confirmed the signing of former CFL Most Outstanding Player Mike Reilly Tuesday. The No. 1 free agent on CFL.ca’s Top 30 FA list has committed to four year, $2.9 million deal with his former team in BC.
“This is a historic day for our organization and for fans of the BC Lions,” said GM Ed Hervey. “Acquiring one of the CFL’s elite quarterbacks is an extremely rare opportunity and we’re thrilled to welcome Mike home to the Lions.”
The significance of the signing cannot be understated and ignites a significant domino effect across the league.
The signing became public on Monday evening when TSN’s Ryan Rishaug broke the story about the Lions power move after being given permission to speak to the all-star pivot last week.
“At 8:44 p.m. ET on Monday, February 11th, the tectonic plates of the CFL shifted and the league was left forever changed in its aftermath,” stated CFL.ca senior writer Chris O’Leary Monday night.
MORE ON REILLY SIGNING
“It’s an amazing feeling for me, my wife and our extended families to know I am back with the Lions,” said Reilly. “I am grateful for my time in Edmonton and it will always hold a very special place in my heart, but the opportunity to rejoin Ed and return to Vancouver to be part of what he is building was too good to pass up at this point in my career.”
Reilly, who just turned 34 at the end of January, threw for 5,562 yards, 30 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2018, his sixth season as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos. He’s thrown for at least 5,500 yards in each of his last three seasons.
Before joining the Eskimos in 2013, Reilly spent two seasons with the Lions (2011, 2012). Over his eight-year CFL career, Reilly has suited up in 103 games and has thrown for 27,625 yards, 148 touchdowns and 84 interceptions.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound pivot is a two-time Grey Cup Champion (2011, 2015), was named Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in 2015 and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2017. Reilly was named a CFL All-Star in 2017 and a West Division All-Star in 2014 and 2017.