Brady gets shocking news

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Donald Brady turned back the clock this spring by reverting to his original first name.

But the defensive back - formerly known as Donny Brady - has just watched his time run out with the Eskimos.

The defending Grey Cup champions cut Brady yesterday, even though he was coming off one of the best seasons in his four-year run with the Green and Gold.

"I'm stunned," said Brady. "I'm an all-star and I was going to be an all-star again this year. I thought of myself as a true champion."

Instead, the Eskimos feel they can win another championship without him.

A CFL West Division all-star at halfback last year, Brady had 41 defensive tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in the regular season.

In the playoffs, he was even better with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

However, several factors led to his release, including the off-season acquisition of halfback Reggie Durden, the outstanding play of Shannon Garrett in the preseason and the emergence of two bright newcomers.

"We have established guys like (Roosevelt) Williams and (Jonte) Buhl as individuals that we would like to have here at least for this year, if not for the next couple of years," said Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia yesterday.

Brady started the regular season on the one-game injured list after leaving the final pre-season game with a rib problem.

But even with the surplus of bodies - no less than five individuals were capable of playing halfback before yesterday's announcement - Brady never thought he was expendable.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IT

"I thought I was coming into the lineup (this week) and I was looking forward to it," said Brady.

The Esks will now play Garrett at halfback on the wide side of the field Saturday when they host the Stampeders.

Garrett appeared to be Edmonton's No. 1 choice at SAM linebacker coming out of training camp.

He was the only player listed at that position on the depth chart at kickoff last weekend in Calgary to start the regular season.

HE'LL BE MISSED

However, Gerald Dixon suddenly played linebacker during the game and Garrett was moved to halfback, where he played very well.

But Brady will be missed through the season, according veteran cornerback Malcolm Frank.

"He is one of the premiere halfbacks in the league," said Frank.

"But nothing surprises me anymore - (being cut) is just the name of the game."

It's unclear, though, if Brady will be picked up by another team, especially given his age.

The 32-year-old New York native is fully aware this could be the end of his professional career.

"It's definitely possible," he said.

"I still love the game, but there are a lot of things to think about. There is life after football."

But Maciocia is definitely willing to help Brady land on his feet with another team.

The coach has a world of respect for the veteran defender, which explains why he didn't try to trade him, and is offering his assistance in another way.

"The last thing I wanted to do was trade him to some-place he doesn't want to go," said Maciocia."I think the best thing is to let him pick his destination. And I mentioned that I would make any calls he needed me to make just so I can help him out."

FINISH LINES: Brady had recently become a year-round resident in Edmonton ... The B.C. Lions said yesterday that Jason Clermont is out indefinitely after sustaining a third-degree tear of his medial collateral ligament in the first quarter of their season-opening 45-28 win over Saskatchewan on Friday night ... Canadian linebacker Rick Foley chosen fourth overall by the B.C. Lions in the Canadian college draft has been released by the NFL' Baltimore Ravens.


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