Payroll savings plan?

Omarr Morgan is somewhat happy to be leaving Edmonton. SUN MEDIA/Perry Mah

Omarr Morgan is somewhat happy to be leaving Edmonton. SUN MEDIA/Perry Mah

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos' payroll is almost $265,000 lighter today.

However, that is just the beginning of the story on the release of Omarr Morgan and Rob Brown yesterday.

In Morgan's case, the club walked away from a five-year contract worth nearly $725,000 after one frustrating season.

Although the veteran cornerback feels slightly betrayed from a financial standpoint, he admits he's somewhat happy to be leaving Edmonton.

In Brown's case, though, he asked to be released after the club tried to renegotiate his contract.

"They wouldn't honour my contract -- I will leave it at that," said Brown when asked to elaborate.

But it's obvious the defensive tackle was asked to take less money in 2008.

With the salary cap set at $4.2 million, the Eskimos are trying to stay under the limit.

A CFL source has told Sun Media that Brown's original contract called for a salary between $100,000-$120,000.

For the Eskimos, the back-room politics mean the club is going to invite Ron Warner to return for a second training camp to compete against Dario Romero and Adam Braidwood for the two starting defensive tackle positions.

"There is no way we can keep Warner, Brown, Braidwood, (Fred) Perry and Romero on the roster," said head coach Danny Maciocia.

"It's impossible. You can't dress that many during the course of a football game."

After being Edmonton's defensive MVP in 2006 with 12 quarterback sacks, Brown's production nosedived last year, with just three sacks.

However, the 11-year CFL veteran was hampered by knee problems last year, forcing off-season surgery on both knees.

Currently in training, Brown has made Edmonton his home and is expecting a second child in April, meaning playing outside the city this season will bring off-field challenges.

In Morgan's case, Edmonton never felt like home.

The most coveted free-agent last winter, the former all-star failed to be the shutdown cornerback Maciocia hoped for.

"He was the biggest mystery going," said the coach on why Morgan didn't perform to his usual level in 2007.

A revolving door of personnel in the secondary, coupled with a non-existent pass rush at times certainly made it hard for all the defensive backs to cover receivers last year.

But there were other issues off the field.

"You never want to get cut, but I am not sad," said Morgan. "As far as football, I wasn't happy the whole year (in Edmonton). They just do things a little bit different.

"It is not as personal as to what I was used to in Saskatchewan.

"Playing for the Eskimos and being in that locker-room it was just business -- straight football.

"It wasn't: 'How is your day going? How is the family?' I am not saying (it was) good or bad ... just a little different."

For seven years, Morgan bled green and white with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and clearly preferred the human side of Danny Barrett and Richie Hall in Regina.

"When you show that you genuinely care about people, they want to play harder for you," Morgan stated.

It's unclear if he'll return to Regina.

"(Saskatchewan) won the Grey Cup without me and I think their defence played really good," said Morgan.


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