Restelli return expected by Esks

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:39 PM ET

EDMONTON - Expect to see former Edmonton Eskimos linebacker Mark Restelli return to the Green and Gold in a couple of days.

General manager Eric Tillman said Restelli, who was cut by the NFL's Miami Dolphins last week, will return to Edmonton where he played the past two CFL seasons.

"I talked to his agent (Friday) afternoon," Tillman said. "I know Mark called (head coach) Kavis (Reed). Whether they talked, I'm not sure.

"We're expecting him back. We just agreed to talk (Saturday)."

Restelli, trying out at safety, was one of the last cuts by the Dolphins as the preseason schedule wound to a close.

Their loss is Edmonton's gain, as far as the Eskimos are concerned.

"He's a terrific player, we're playing well on defence," Tillman said. "(Defensive co-ordinator) Rich (Stubler)'s attitude is the more, the merrier.

"Where he will play, how he will fit in, that's up to the coaches."

If there is one position that the Eskimos might not have to bolster, it was a linebacker. That is, at least before sam linebacker T.J. Hill was a late scratch with a neck injury prior to Friday's game against the Calgary Stampeders.

"In a long season, things happen," Tillman said. "Mark's a good guy, he's a good player. If it's a problem, it's a nice one."

Restelli had 16 tackles and three sacks in just six games in an injury-shortened 2010 season after suffering a hyper-extended knee, but showed promise with 58 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery in his rookie pro season.

"We'll certainly welcome him, let's put it that way," Tillman said. "Last week when he was cut, I think you have to be patient. American kids grow up dreaming of playing in the NFL and when you're cut, it's very painful.

"You just learn to be respectful. Some guys are ready to get on the plane immediately, other guys you need to just give them (some time) and let them come to you."


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