Esks swing the axe

The Edmonton Eskimos cut Singor Mobley (pictured) and Donald Brady on Monday, continuing their...

The Edmonton Eskimos cut Singor Mobley (pictured) and Donald Brady on Monday, continuing their offseason purge. (Sun File/Darryl Dyck)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

Four Grey Cup championship rings gone.

More than 230 games of CFL experience tossed out the window.

Linebacker Singor Mobley and defensive back Donald Brady are the latest victims of the Edmonton Eskimos' off-season roster purge, as both were officially cut yesterday.

"It's hard to find warriors - and that is why we won those Grey Cups (in 2003 and 2005)," shot Brady on his phone from New York yesterday. "If I was still on the team - (I would say) they lost a big leader (in Mobley)."

But after an unacceptable 7-11 2006 campaign, Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia believes his team is better without either aging veteran.

In fact, the final nail in Mobley's coffin likely came just recently when the Esks agreed to terms with a yet-to-be-announced linebacker.

"In the next few days we're going to announce an NFL player with five years' experience," said Maciocia.

"We also have Antico Dalton - who is a true linebacker - and Marcus Winn (as options)."

Dalton played defensive end, safety and special teams last year.

The release is a hard pill to swallow for Mobley, who has played nine years with the Eskimos and finished second in tackles last year while sharing the position with Winn.

"I would definitely love to be in Green and Gold (this year) and prove everyone wrong - that we are a better team (than last year)," said Mobley.

Age is obviously a factor. Mobley is 34; Brady is 33.

But the biggest factor in Brady's walking papers is the fact Maciocia acquired defensive backs Jason Goss, Omarr Morgan and Stanford Samuels this winter.

"There are only so many defensive backs you can play with," remarked Maciocia.

And there is only so much money you can spend under the $4.05-million salary cap.

The trio of Samuels, Goss and Morgan will earn nearly $360,000 combined this season. The Esks had to cut costs elsewhere. Brady was earning between $80,000-$90,000. Mobley's salary was over $90,000 but not quite six figures.

Mobley and Brady both want to keep playing and still have nearly three months before training camps open across the CFL to find a new home.

The Eskimos did quietly offer to Brady the option of retiring with the team this off-season but he rejected it.

Winnipeg and Hamilton expressed interest in signing Brady last year when the Eskimos initially cut him before bringing him back.

In better shape than some players five years younger, Brady would love to take his frustration out against the Eskimos this summer.

"I would have rather (the release) happened earlier," he said, referring to having more time to find a new team. "I'll take it out on (the Eskimos) if I play against them."

Cutting Brady could mean defensive back Shannon Garrett will get a chance to make the team.

After talking to defensive coach Rick Campbell two weeks ago, Garrett, 35, believes he's coming to training camp.

But he's still shocked by yesterday's cuts.

"It's always upsetting - they're good friends of mine," he said from Mississippi.

FINISH LINES: There has been no decision as of yet on the playing future of veteran receiver Ed Hervey.


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