Ray a sell for Esks

Eskimos Ricky Ray during per-season CFL football in Calgary at McMahon Stadium, Friday, June 15,....

Eskimos Ricky Ray during per-season CFL football in Calgary at McMahon Stadium, Friday, June 15,. ALCHAREST/SUN MEDIA

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Ricky Ray believes in the Edmonton Eskimos.

The five-year veteran and arguably the CFL's best quarterback officially signed a four-year extension through 2011 that's worth $500,000 per season.

"This is where I got my start, I have had some great years here - this is home for me," said Ray.

"There haven't been too many quarterbacks here that have been here for a long period of time and I would like to be one of those guys."

Ray came to the Eskimos through his new offensive co-ordinator, and his one-time coach, Rick Worman

Ray has appeared in three Grey Cups with the Eskimos, winning two and he's been their undisputed leader the past two years as the Eskimos forge through their rebuilding process.

Clearly, he has been their MVP during his time as an Eskimo.

"We are here to win and I think he's the best quarterback and one of the most prolific players in the CFL and I hope everybody gets excited about it," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"This is a man who has made a commitment of being here the next four years.

"This is not a one-year deal where I am going to see how it all works out.

"He believes in this organization and he wants to win more championships."

As the Eskimos continue to work themselves back into the playoff picture, it could have been easy for Ray to move on. Having Ray locked up for the next four seasons will help in the rebuilding process.

"Any time you are trying to pursue an offensive player, whether it's a offensive lineman, a fullback, a tailback or a receiver, you'll be surrounded by the best quarterback in the CFL and he will lead us," explained Maciocia.

"It will be an easy sales pitch even when you are pursuing free agents and your trying to get them to come here. Especially with the salary cap, sometimes people will move for $5,000 to $10,000, but if you can sell them on the fact that they'll be playing with Ricky Ray it makes it a whole lot easier."

Maciocia referred to that situation happening last season when Kamau Peterson joined the Eskimos after two bad years with Winnipeg and Hamilton where he was given the nickname Kamau "Incompleterson'."

"We told him that he'd be playing with the best quarterback and it would be a chance to resurrect his career and that is exactly what happened - he got his 1,000 yards," said Maciocia.

COACHING HOLES: Maciocia still has to fill the vacancy of offensive line coach after Carl Brennan's contract wasn't renewed. No timeline has been set, however Maciocia has talked to some potential candidates.

"The search is extensive for that position. I have talked to Jim McNally of the Buffalo Bills who has been there over 20 years. I have spoken to Kevin Gilbride, Greg Williams, I have spoken to a lot of people and I have a couple more to talk to," said Maciocia.

"In a fantasy world I would like to have that done before the holidays, but that's not likely to happen."


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