Esks' Thompson named all-star

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:01 PM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos ended the 2010 season with a CFL all-star in their midst, but that might not be the way they begin 2011.

Chris Thompson earned his second league all-star nomination in his short, four-year career after leading the Eskimos with seven interceptions one which he returned 84 yards for a touchdown to sit second overall in the league.

Im a free agent, so well have to see how that unfolds in the next few weeks or months, said Thompson. Im going to take some time off just to get settled in, relax at home and weigh my options. Everythings going to take care of itself, Im pretty sure about that.

While the all-star designation will make him a commodity on the free-agent market, the accompanying financial implication may mean he will find himself in a different-coloured jersey next season.

I like (Edmonton), its a great organization. Top of the line, Thompson said. So Id love to be back there next year. Well see how it plays out.

As will the rest of the team, which will be under the direction of a new head coach for the 2011 campaign.

Thats the way its looking, well get a new head coach in there so theres going to be some changes, Thompson said. But thats all part of the business so weve just got to roll with the punches.

Thats easier said than done when it came to last weeks loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, which knocked the Eskimos out of playoff contention.

I wish I was still in the playoffs right now, said Thompson. But its a great honour to be voted by the coaches and the voting committee.

Selected by fans, Football Reporters of Canada members and CFL head coaches, Thompsons first CFL all-star title came in 2008 after being traded from Edmonton to the Hamilton Tiger-cats. That year, he led the Tabbies with nine interceptions before seeing his numbers fall dramatically in 2009 as opposing offences kept the ball away from his side of the field.

Last year I kind of fell off, I think some teams stopped coming my way, said Thompson. Its a sign of respect that comes with getting nine interceptions the year before.

I always believed in my abilities and this year I was able to make some plays.

Whether the same thing happens to him next year, Thompson will have to wait as his season ended prematurely.

Im still trying to get over it. Me and Fred actually just got in (yesterday) morning, said Thompson, who followed friend and teammate Fred Stamps back to their home town of New Orleans to spend the off-season with their families. We had a two-day drive and I was thinking about it the whole way here that we still should have been in the playoffs.

It was a long drive and a long journey.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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