'Let me be free'

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

Jason Lamar is begging the Edmonton Eskimos to cut him so he can join another CFL team.

"I want out," said the 27-year-old middle linebacker, who was an all-star in Hamilton in 2001, but is now under contract with the Green and Gold.

"It makes no sense at all for me and (current Eskimo middle linebacker) A.J. Gass to be on the same team when we are both starters in this league.

"It is A.J.'s house and it's his spot.

"I need to be moved.

"Let me be free."

After signing as a free agent with Edmonton last May, Lamar finished training camp but then had season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in one knee.

The Michigan native feels he'll be completely healthy this spring and is demanding to be released right now because the free agency period starts today.

"Teams are setting their roster and need to know who is who," he explained.

"There are teams looking for middle linebackers right now.

"And I am going to bring fierce, downhill hitting and make plays."

However, the Eskimos don't plan to release him.

"He signed a contract and we're going to respect the terms and conditions of that contract and we expect Jason to do the same," said head coach Danny Maciocia.

"We expect him to show up at camp."

But Lamar has no plans to arrive in Edmonton for camp.

Although he was paid his entire $75,000+ salary last year, he believes showing up this year would be a useless move.

"No matter if I have 12 interceptions in the preseason, I am still not going to be the starting middle linebacker," remarked Lamar.

And he feels the Eskimos won't be able to trade him.

"I don't see how they are going to trade me because I am coming off surgery," he said.

"I just need to be released to control my own destiny."

FRANK RETURNING: Malcolm Frank's birth certificate says he's 37 years old, but that's not an issue.

"I don't care how old he is," said Maciocia.

"People like to bring into question his age, but there aren't too many people that will throw the ball his way. And he's well respected in the locker-room.

"So it was important for us to have him around."

So it wasn't hard for the two sides to agree to a new deal yesterday, meaning Frank will be back with the Eskimos for another year (plus an option) instead of testing the free-agent market.

"It's good to be back," said Frank, who will enter his eighth year as a defensive back with the club. "You always want to come back and repeat (a Grey Cup win)."


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