Esks count on healthy Bradley

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:31 PM ET

If Mike Bradley's body can stay in one piece for another four seasons, he will likely retire as an Eskimo.

Throwing away his free-agent rights down the road, the special teams demon has signed a new long-term deal with the Green and Gold.

"If I had waited to free agency I am sure I could have snuck a few more dollars out of somebody down the road," Bradley admitted to the Sun yesterday from his off-season home in Barrie, Ont.

"But I was happy with the contract I signed.

"And I am not the guy who is going to chase the dollar and move all the way across the country again just for a couple of extra bucks.

"Edmonton has been good to me and they have treated me well, so I think we came to a fair deal."

Complete with a signing bonus, the 28-year-old non-import actually inked the deal (three years and an option) in September, before his late-season health problems.

NECK AND KNEE

With a neck injury and then knee problems, Bradley was forced to miss two of the final four games before having surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee.

"But for the first time in a year I can say I am pain free in my knee," he reported.

"Dr. (David) Reid did a good job (with the operation). I am already well into rehab."

PINS AND NEEDLES

The medical update on his neck is also good.

"I just came from the gym now and I did a big heavy lift and there are no pins and needles in my arms," he said.

"So it is good news."

Bradley only registered six special teams tackles last year, but is clearly a leader on coverage teams with five years under his belt.

Under assistant coach Malvin Hunter, Bradley has also been the point player on the club's rare special teams trick plays.

While the Eskimos haven't announced the signing yet, it's expected soon.


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