Chasin' Jason!

Edmonton Eskimos pivot Jason Maas says it's

Edmonton Eskimos pivot Jason Maas says it's "a possibility" he'll be traded to Hamilton next season. (Edmonton Sun File Photo)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

HAMILTON -- If you didn't know any better, you'd swear Jason Maas will start at quarterback for the Edmonton Eskimos tonight against the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Maas -- the backup pivot for the Green and Gold -- actually handled more questions from reporters yesterday than regular media darling Ricky Ray.

That's almost never the case. The starting quarterback is usually staring down the barrel of the cameras while the backup disappears from the practice field without anybody noticing.

But the spotlight was on Maas yesterday because there is continuous talk suggesting he could be playing in Hamilton next year.

HE WASN'T BITING

But he wasn't biting at the bait.

"I am so focused on this year," said Maas.

"I am here on business with the Edmonton Eskimos and that is the way I prefer it.

"The thought (of playing in Hamilton) has crossed my mind because people keep asking me, but at the same time ... I don't dwell on it every single day."

Hamilton is home to the worst offence in the CFL this year, which is a major reason why the team is also stuck with a dismal 2-10 record.

No team generates fewer yards per game, scores fewer points or has a worse aerial attack.

Maas was Edmonton's starting pivot last year, becoming just the second Eskimo to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season.

However, he hasn't thrown a pass this year; instead, he is riding shotgun to Ray.

Will Maas return to Edmonton next year if Ray is still the undisputed starter?

"I'll have to think about it at the end of the year," said Maas.

"Is that a possibility? Sure, that's a possibility."

As usual, Maas patiently and politely handled every single media question after yesterday's Edmonton practice.

"It's nice to be apparently wanted," added Maas. "If nobody had interest in me, that wouldn't be a good thing either."

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia was spotted after practice talking with interim Hamilton general manager Rob Katz.

Asked if he was able to secure a deal to send Maas to Hamilton, Maciocia replied: "Jason Maas is an Edmonton Eskimo.

"Period."

The coach then shared a laugh with the media.

"I actually went a whole month or month and a half without answering that one," he said.

"But for some strange reason, that doesn't come as a surprise that I am in Hamilton and that it is being asked again."

NO SECRET

Maciocia has made it no secret that he is a huge Maas fan.

"As strange as this may seem, Jason Maas really is the leader of our offence. He is a team captain," remarked Maciocia.

"Like we said all along, in 2005 Jason Mass is going to be an Eskimo regardless of what was offered and who was offered."

Maas still has two years, plus an option, remaining on his contract.

"When 2006 rolls around the chances are we will have an opportunity to sit down and talk about (Maas's future) in detail," added Maciocia.

"My conversation is going to be very simple: 'Jason, I want you to stay.'

"And Jason will hopefully turn around and say: 'I want to stay.'

"If he is going to say that, then we will come out publicly -- once and for all -- and state the fact we aren't going to make a move with Jason Maas."


Videos

Photos