Jason Maas on the bubble in 2011

GERRY MODDEJONGE, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

REGINA - The 2010 season saw him get bumped to third-string quarterback, but where Jason Maas will be in 2011 may not pertain to the depth chart as much as it will to being on the roster at all.

The Edmonton Eskimos have plenty of experience in their quarterback stable, which currently includes Ricky Ray, Jared Zabransky, Jason Maas and 37-year-old Kerry Joseph.

Maybe too much?

What that means for Maas, who bleeds Green and Gold no matter what role he‚s handed, is his best guess.

"I'm not really thinking about that, I have one year left on my contract and I said all along the Eskimos are going to dictate what I do next year," said Maas, who turns 35 on Nov. 19. "That's one of the reasons I'd definitely like to be around because to me it's turned a corner here at the end of the year. I feel like this is the team you're going to see next year, is the team that finished off this year."

After starting off 2-9, the Eskimos won five of their last seven to put themselves in a must-win situation in their final regular-season game. But Saturday's 31-23 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders ended their chance of playoffs.

"It just wasn't our day," Maas said. "When you're up in your years in the league, each opportunity you have could be your last. So that's the way you go into each and every game.

"For it to end like this, it's definitely hard. You work hard from the time in training camp to this point, things were looking up for us. It felt like if we could get into the playoffs we could do some damage and to come up short, it's really heartbreaking."

And it only reinforces how much it would mean to finish his career with another championship.

"I think we have a lot of positives to gain from this season, as slow as it was and how many bad things happened to us," Maas said. "We fought to the end and I think we're a much improved team that did a lot better the last half. I feel like that's the way we're going to start the season next year."

"Definitely, I think everyone in this locker-room wants to be a part of that."

Ray, for one, wants Maas to be able to continue to say 'we', when talking about the Eskimos.

"Shoot, he's meant so much to this organization, the things he's done for it, the leadership, all those sorts of things," Ray said. "He's an invaluable guy to have in that locker-room. I hope he's back.

"He's meant so much to me in my career and he's a good guy to lean on in the good and the bad times just with his leadership so hopefully we can convince him to come back."

The only thing is, Maas isn't the one who needs convincing.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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