About next year ...

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

The dismantling job is about to begin.

After missing the playoffs and putting together one of the worst seasons in the franchise's history, this Edmonton Eskimos team will look drastically different next year.

But the big question is: Who will be gone by the start of training camp?

"I am up in the air right now (on next year)," admitted 34-year-old defensive back Shannon Garrett.

"It is kind of hard to retire on a bad note.

"I still love the game and it is kind of hard to walk away when you still love the game. And I really feel I have another year in me."

Eskimo brass will take the final two games of the season to make their final assessments on their insufficient talent base before hunkering down for a long off-season renovation project.

Complicating matters will be the $4.05-million salary cap, which will apparently be strictly enforced next year with harsh financial penalties.

Wanting to have enough cap room to be active in the free-agent market will also play a role in deciding who stays and who goes.

Nearly one-third of the current roster could be purged.

But without question, there are several veterans in limbo.

Starting defensive tackle Steve Charbonneau - at age 33 - is in that boat.

A nine-year veteran, A.J. Gass is set to become a free agent.

"I am looking forward to playing next year," said Gass. "I will be a free agent - so where (I am playing in 2007) might be the question.

"I will be very excited if it is back here."

Singor Mobley also wants to return for his 10th year.

"I am still under contract. I still want to be here," he said. "Until someone tells me I am not, I am. That is the way I look at it."

In the secondary, Malcolm Frank will likely retire, but Danny Maciocia - who is expected to return for another year - will have to decide the fate of halfback Donald Brady.

"(Heck) yeah I want to play again," said Brady, who was cut early in the season before being brought back late in the year.

"This year sucked for me. I never really got a chance to get my feet wet. I would like to play an entire season. There are things that I need to prove to people."

On offence, there are aging vets in the receiving core. Mookie Mitchell will be 36 to start the 2007 season, while Ed Hervey will be 34.

"Obviously, I want to be in Edmonton (next year)," said Hervey.

"This is home for me.

"But those decisions are something that are made after the season.

"Right now we have an opportunity to play spoiler. That is a role that we aren't used to, but we are going to show everyone that we still have a lot of fight in this team."

That spoiler role begins Saturday against the Alouettes.

But who will be part of the future is the most intriguing question.


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