November 15, 2008
Sanchez has a bit of a chip on his shoulder over exit
MONTREAL -- Random thoughts and observations on game day for the East Division final between the Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes:
How much did he make?
After nearly three football seasons in Montreal, defensive back Davis Sanchez is starting to reveal his thoughts on the trade that sent him packing from Edmonton.
Of course, this all comes with Sanchez facing the Eskimos today in Montreal (11 a.m. MT, TSN, CHED), with the winner advancing to the Grey Cup on Nov. 23.
The cornerback claims he earned close to $360,000 in 2005 when he signed with the Eskimos on the free-agent market. Sanchez believes the signing bonus in Edmonton was close to $200,000 that year on a front-loaded four-year contract.
A source close to the Eskimos disputes those figures, claiming Sanchez had a $100,000 signing bonus and a total 2005 package closer to $200,000.
Whatever the figures, it was a boatload of cash for a non-import defensive back that suffered a hip injury and didn't play in 11 games.
Traded to Montreal in 2006 for Robert Brown and Reggie Durden, Sanchez now states he didn't want the deal.
"I didn't want to leave," he said. "I'm not out there for a free lunch. I never had a chance to earn the money I made."
Those are rare words in professional sports. It's refreshing and honest. Sanchez claims there is no personal vendetta against anyone in the Eskimos' organization - even though there is wide speculation that attitude plus money were factors in the trade.
While Sanchez didn't want to leave, he's now facing former teammates today with the winner getting a shot at the ultimate prize in the CFL.
Wishing against Ricky
Great line yesterday by Montreal defensive end Anwar Stewart on Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray:
"Hopefully he comes up with some sort of food poisoning (before kickoff)," joked Stewart in the Als' locker-room at Olympic Stadium.
Kelly clears the air
Edmonton receivers coach Mike Kelly - who is widely rumoured to be the next Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach after the post-season - held a private meeting with his receivers to make sure there would be no distractions heading into today's game.
Younger could be gone
Should anything be read into the fact the Eskimos haven't made a contract offer to defensive back Jordan Younger? The veteran is set to become a free agent at the end of this year.
When the Eskimos didn't offer Younger a contract extension even though they acquired him this off-season in a trade for Tyler Ebell and TJ Acree, it became pretty clear this was a judgement season for the five-year CFLer.
If Edmonton's season ends this afternoon, has Younger done enough to get another deal?
Savouring the moment
Tristan Jackson walked around with a digital camera attached to his wrist yesterday at Olympic Stadium.
"I've never been this far in the playoffs. I want to remember this," said the Edmonton returner on why he was toting the camera.
Called out on the carpet
The Alouettes might have a home-field advantage in the shoe department today.
The playing surface at Olympic Stadium looks like the bright green Astro-turf somebody would have on their deck in the backyard.
It's not the same surface the Esks played on in this stadium in the fall of 2006.
"I've never seen this," said Jackson while standing on the prickly carpet.