Stamps say no Maas

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

EDMONTON -- With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats signing Casey Printers yesterday, the move basically spells the end of Jason Maas as a starting quarterback in Steeltown.

But Calgary Stampeders fans shouldn't expect their team to engineer a trade to bring the former Edmonton Eskimo in as a backup to Henry Burris.

Reached yesterday back in Calgary, Stamps general manager Jim Barker refused to comment on Maas specifically because he is still under contract to the Ticats, but he did say the team isn't looking to upgrade its backup pivot.

In recent weeks, Akili Smith has taken a step forward and really started to impress in practice.

The team is confident in Smith's ability if he's called upon because of injury.

"We are very happy with our second-string quarterback," Barker said.

"Akili has proven to very much be a leader."

Maas' salary became guaranteed after Game 9 of the season but it was reported a deal between Montreal and Hamilton was being attempted yesterday.

Maas reportedly scoffed at the attempted trade with the Alouettes for Canadian running back Jeff Piercy yesterday and Sportsnet.ca reported there's a possibility the Ticats could suspend Maas if he fails to report, or try to work out a different deal.

Hamilton signed Printers to a deal through the 2009 season, with an option for 2010.

Ticats general manager Marcel Desjardins said the contract doesn't make Printers the CFL's highest paid player on average -- that honour belongs to Edmonton QB Ricky Ray at $460,000 -- but a big reason why Printers signed with Hamilton was the club's ability to front-load the agreement. Desjardins wouldn't provide financial details, but a league source said Printers received a guaranteed $250,000 signing bonus and that his deal was worth about $1.6M in total.

Maas, obtained from Edmonton two years ago after helping the Esks win the '05 Grey Cup, has battled injuries and inconsistency with Hamilton, compiling a 5-19 record as a starter. He was replaced by Tim Chang on Labour Day.


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