While the legal process decides the future of Adam Braidwood, the Edmonton Eskimos wasted no time in signing his mirror image as CFL free agency opened Wednesday.
Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive lineman Jermaine Reid is virtually identical to Braidwood on paper — everything except for a court docket, of course.
At six-foot-four, 275 pounds, both were drafted exactly one round apart in 2006, with Braidwood going first overall to Edmonton and Reid taken at No. 9 by Hamilton.
Even if replacement wasn’t their intention, the Eskimos have brought in another Adam Braidwood, The Football Player.
“I understand that speculation,” said Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman. “I’ve been in regular contact with his father. I’ve spoken with Adam. The legal process is there, we’re going to be respectful of the process.
“But obviously given that situation and the signing of Jermaine, people are going to establish linkage. We can’t control that speculation.”
Two years plus
Regardless, Reid signed a deal for two years plus an option that could carry him through 2013.
“If there were zero issues with Adam, we would have still been on the phone at 12:01 trying to get Jermaine,” Tillman said.
“We think he is a young player who is just coming into his own. The consensus around the league is he really was playing extremely well down the stretch last year.”
The Eskimos weren’t the only ones to notice, either, as Reid, 27, also had offers from Hamilton, Vancouver and Calgary.
“Eric Tillman and coach (Kavis) Reed both gave very persuasive arguments in allowing me to compete in Edmonton this coming year with the new coaching staff and their program, which has a rich history,” the Ontario-born Reid said from his home in Uniontown, Ohio, where he lives in the off-season with his wife and works as a project engineer. “I just wanted to be a part of that rise again.”
While he has nothing bad to say about the Ticats organization, Reid said with the team assembled there, he wasn’t given as much opportunity to show his value.
That’s not to say he is the type to shy away from a challenge. In fact, he said he would rather have Braidwood in training camp to compete against.
“I actually didn’t know anything at all about that,” Reid said. “I am unsure about his situation right now and I wish him the best. I like to play against high-quality players.”
It’s a measuring stick he uses to test himself physically as well as mentally.
“(Education) is very important to me,” Reid said. “It’s something my mother instilled in me when I was smaller and it’s something I carry throughout my life.
“Bless her heart, she passed away quite a few years ago now, but it was one of those things when I came out of college I always knew I would finish with a degree. It was kind of one of my promises to her and myself.”
Engineering and football is a combination that shocks his fellow football players and engineers alike.
“Most of the time they don’t expect a football player to be an engineer, but at the same time they don’t expect an engineer to choose engineering over football,” Reid said. “I was fortunate enough to have a little leeway in going back and forth between the two.
“There’s always life after football.”