The Wright choice

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

It's now up to Tom Wright to take it or leave it.

The CFL commissioner has been presented with a one-year renewal of his contract, which expires after this season, along with the provision he hire a chief operating officer, sources told The Toronto Sun yesterday.

While at least one team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, wanted to give him a deal of three to five years and some teams didn't want to renew the deal at all, the board as a whole agreed on a one-year deal, along with the recommendation Wright hire a COO. The sources said it is in the CFL constitution for the board to ask for the hiring of a COO.

That occupied discussions in a board meeting two days ago, along with Wright's desire to hire his own COO as opposed to one being hired for him. Now it's back in Wright's hands.

"I feel encouraged, I feel energized and I'm really looking forward to the next step in this process," Wright said yesterday from Paris, where he is vacationing. "And I'm going to work positively and constructively to continue to go through this renewal process and allow it to take its course.

"Ultimately I need to sit down with the board of governors and ... discuss the terms and I'm going to very much look forward to that.

"I would like to make sure we can turn this page and start to focus on the other issues that we have facing our league. It includes Ottawa. It includes taking advantage of the momentum we have in our league to continue to grow."

Wright speculated the matter would be resolved within weeks, although one source suggested it would take only a few days once Wright returns from vacation.

If Wright elects not to take the offer -- one source suggested he might feel the one-year offer is a slight -- he has to give the board proper notice.

While Wright has been guarded about his contract, the belief is he earns a base of slightly more than $400,000 a year, but has a bonus clause to boost that by 10%-15%.

"When we all step back from it, we all have the best interest of the Canadian Football League and our fans at heart," Wright said. "I think it's important that whatever we're going to do, we do it appropriately and fairly and do it properly, and that's really what this process is about ... I'm very confident and encouraged it'll be done and done quickly."

He refused to say if there was something that needed to be changed from his previous contract, citing a confidentiality agreement.

"What I can tell you is that I think it's important that both the board of governors and myself understand very definitely what my roles and responsibilities and authority are to go forward and I'm confident we'll be able put those things in place so that the job I'm hired to do can be done," he said.


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