The writing was on the wall for Kwame Cavil.
With a star-studded trio of import receivers -- Jason Tucker, Mookie Mitchell and Ed Hervey -- officially under contract for another season with the Edmonton Eskimos, Cavil didn't have a relevant spot with the Green and Gold.
So, it came as no surprise yesterday when the Eskimos dealt the 27-year-old import wideout to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a fourth-round pick in next month's CFL Canadian college draft.
"When you have such a good crop of receivers (in Edmonton), it's hard to get your foot in the door," admitted Cavil from his home in Beaumont, Texas.
"But I'm looking forward to (going to) Hamilton.
"They have a good defence and the one thing they were uncertain about was the offence, as far as what direction they were going.
"But when you bring in a quarterback like Jason Maas, that sums up right there what direction your offence is going."
IT'S A SIGN
The deal is also a sign of the new CFL salary management system beginning to work.
"You have to take a look at the cap," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.
"You want to stay in the vicinity of the (cap) number that's been established."
With a $3.8-million cap this season, the Eskimos can't as easily stash a healthy five-year professional veteran on the injured list or somewhere else.
Cavil came to Edmonton in a trade from Montreal last July to replace injured receiver Ed Hervey, but only played seven games.
Once Hervey returned in late September, Cavil stayed with the club, but spent the remaining eight games of the year -- including the Grey Cup -- sitting in the stands.
"When he played for us he played really well," continued Maciocia, who watched Cavil catch 31 balls for 259 yards, "and when he didn't play, he was a great guy in the locker-room."
And that is an underlying storyline to this trade.
Although he had played in the NFL and had CFL playoff experience with Montreal, Cavil never seemed to complain down the stretch last year.
GETTING HIS REWARD
Now he's getting his reward.
"Kwame has been a first-class individual since we acquired him and this is just my way of trying to accommodate him, because I think he deserves to play," said Maciocia.
Relinquishing the first pick in the fourth round of the college draft is anything but a steep price for a former 1,000-yard receiver with the Alouettes.
The Tiger-Cats are loaded with picks, with three of the first 12 selections in the draft. In fact, the Tabbies had two fourth-round picks before giving one to Edmonton.
The deal gives Cavil a more realistic shot at cracking a CFL roster and reunites him with Maas.
"When we were out there practising (last year in Edmonton) we hooked up a lot," said Cavil, remembering when he played on the second-team offensive unit.
"Maybe he had something to do with (the trade)."
Regardless, Cavil is hoping the deal will help put his career back on track after part-time work last year.
A BIT FRUSTRATING
"It was a bit frustrating because I know the talent that I can provide to a team," he said.
Cavil could strut that talent in his old stomping grounds at Commonwealth Stadium on July 7 when Hamilton visits.
HASH MARKS: It took two weeks, but the proper paperwork has been finalized, meaning Shannon Garrett has officially resigned with the Eskimos. The Sun first reported on Feb. 22 that Garrett had reached a verbal deal to return, but still needed to sign the contract and have it registered with the league office.