Jason's waiting game?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Is it just a matter of time before Jason Maas becomes an Edmonton Eskimo again?

That is a fair question - but one that doesn't have a clear answer right now.

The former Eskimo pivot will return to Commonwealth Stadium on Friday with the Montreal Alouettes.

With Marcus Brady tabbed to be the starter, Maas will surely be wearing a ball cap and standing on the Montreal sidelines.

But will he be on the Edmonton sidelines next year as Ricky Ray's backup?

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia will not discuss Maas's status next year.

That would be tampering.

But let's consider some of the rumblings around the CFL.

According to a source, Maas wanted to be sent to Edmonton last week when he was really dealt to Montreal from Hamilton.

There is also a report indicating the Edmonton Eskimos were interested in acquiring Maas last week.

But Maciocia denies the report.

"Hamilton never called us on Jason Maas," said Maciocia yesterday.

"I learned of it actually after it had got done.

"We were never even involved."

However, on so many fronts a move to Edmonton in the off-season makes sense.

This is home for Maas.

You could feel the pain of a father through the phone yesterday when he talked from Montreal about his daughter in this city.

"She went to school for the first day and I'm missing that," he said.

The Eskimos also need Maas in a very bad way.

When the Green and Gold offensive machine stalled in the 2005 playoffs, Maas came off the bench to play hero.

The Esks offence is in worse shape this season, stalling on a regular basis in the second half.

Given his current salary - a reported $325,000 this season - don't expect Maas to be dealt again this season to help Edmonton.

But next year is another story.

Ray would certainly welcome Maas's return to the Commonwealth Stadium home locker-room.

They are such good friends that they spoke the night before Maas became Montreal property last week.

"We both know it is not all him," said Ray on Maas's miserable time in Hamilton.

"He didn't have much help out there (in Hamilton). Playing this position you sometimes get more blame than other positions."

Maas's days as a starting quarterback are likely behind him. But off the bench, he provides a spark that any team would love to have.

The 31-year-old veteran is also the best possible player to have in a locker-room.

Consider his statements from Montreal yesterday, fresh from losing the starting job to Casey Printers in Hamilton and suddenly becoming a back-up in Montreal.

"I'm happy to be here," said Maas, who refuses to grumble about his situation in Quebec. "I don't know what my future holds, but the team (in Montreal) has a bunch of great guys."

Maas also refuses to moan about his time in Hamilton, where he was 5-19 as a starter.

"I wouldn't trade my time in Hamilton for anything," he said when asked if he regretted leaving Edmonton. "I met a lot of great guys - friends for the rest of my life."

The fiery leader made it clear he doesn't want to know if any Western-based teams were interested in him last week.

He just wants to concentrate on being an Alouette.

It might not be for long.


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