Successful CFL executives, coaches and players have always found a second, and sometimes third, life with other clubs, but most don’t carry with them the extra baggage that new GM Eric Tillman is taking to Edmonton.

Tillman resigned as GM of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in January after pleading guilty in Regina to sexual assault of a 16-year-old babysitter. He was given an absolute discharge and does not have a criminal record, although the court of public opinion isn’t nearly as generous.

While many fans are outraged, the Eskimos brain trust obviously felt Tillman’s football resumé was more important than his personal conduct. Tillman has won three Grey Cups as a GM with three different teams — 1994 in B.C., 1997 in Toronto, and again a decade later in Saskatchewan.

While everyone deserves a second chance, the pressure and expectations in Edmonton to field a winner exceed the ethical responsibility of the community-owned club.


The honeymoon is over for Jim Barker’s Toronto Argos. A surprisingly quick start to the season had the Double Blue challenging for first place in the CFL East while earning plenty of positive publicity in the Big Smoke. Now a three-game losing streak, including a drubbing by lowly B.C. in a mistake-filled nightmare, has dropped their record to 5-5. While still respectable, getting spanked by the struggling Lions makes it clear the Boatmen’s quick start to the season may have been a mirage.

Running backs tend to start heading downhill at 30, but don’t be surprised if Joffrey Reynolds’ best seasons are still ahead of him.

The 30-year-old Texan last week became the Calgary Stampeders’ all-time rushing yards leader, eclipsing the previous franchise record of 8,292 yards held by Kelvin Anderson, clearly on the decline when he was released by the club during the 2003 training camp.

Reynolds, on the other hand, remains a physical specimen. He also benefits from platooning with teammate Jon Cornish, an arrangement that will also help Reynolds extend his career and team rushing record ... Desperate to shakeup their roster, the Roughriders have released WR Prechae Rodriguez and placed returner Dominique Dorsey on the nine-game injured list ... The Argos have signed free agent DE Ricky Foley, the CFL’s top Canadian in 2009, just hours after Foley apparently came to terms with B.C., though he had yet to sign on the dotted line. Adding to the oddity — both teams are owned by David Braley.