Big Bert checks out option play

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

Big Bert may not have flown the coop altogether, but Albert Reese is definitely prepared to explore all his options.

The hulking Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman was cut loose by the team at his request just before Christmas. That let Reese, 31, sign with the Arena Football League's Dallas Desperados.

Where he ends up once the 16-game AFL season is over is anybody's guess.

"It's a good possibility that I'll be in another uniform," said Reese, a pillar of Edmonton's defence in 2003, but who was hampered by a nagging elbow injury last season.

"It's business. What it boils down to is money and everything. I would like to come back to Edmonton, but I've got to do what I've got to do and do what's best for me and my family."

The Desperados open the indoor campaign Jan. 30 and play their final regular-season tilt May 22. That's seven days before CFL clubs open training camp.

However, with 25-year-old newcomer Jabari Issa rendering better than yeomen service last season, the Esks likely won't be in any hurry to re-sign Reese.

Were Reese to go unsigned following the indoor season, he could be an insurance policy should the Green and Gold's defensive line be decimated by injury.

Clearly, the native of Mobile, Alabama, isn't prepared to go beyond the upcoming AFL season.

"That's a little too far down the road for me just yet," said Reese, a veteran of five CFL campaigns in Edmonton silks.

"I'll just wait and see."

Dallas won't be Reese's first kick at indoor football. The Grambling product suited up for the Grand Rapids Rampage during the 2003 season and played on both sides of the ball before re-joining the Esks in training camp.

Reese had 26 tackles and two sacks in 12 CFL games last season.

LATE HITS: R.D. Lancaster, ex of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, is the leading candidate for the Green and Gold's vacant offensive co-ordinator's position ... The Seattle Seahawks are interested in Esks defensive end Rahsad Jeanty and plan to work the 21-year-old out. New Orleans, meanwhile, has made inquiries regarding DE Rahim Abdullah, WR Jason Tucker and DB Darrel Crutchfield.


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