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Sunday, April 9, 2017


The football world is still buzzing 24 hours after Edmonton Eskimos President Len Rhodes fired General Manager Ed Hervey after four years on the job.

A variety of reasons were given by Rhodes for Hervey's dismissal including contract terms, media/fan access to the club and an overall difference in philosophies.

However a source close to Hervey told me on Friday that "this was all about money".

Either way, we are just over two months away from the start of 2017 CFL training camps so Rhodes is under the gun to find his next GM. Long-time Eskimos personnel man Paul Jones has been named the interim GM, but it won't for long. If Jones was interested in being the Eskimos GM - or vice versa - that would've happened years ago.

The first two names mentioned on Friday as possible replacements for Hervey were longtime CFL GMs Brendan Taman and Jim Barker. Both are out of work, so their availability is obvious.

Futhermore hiring one of those two would also allow the Eskimos to avoid the CFL's one year old "Anti-Tampering Rule" which was introduced by Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge last off-season.

Nicknamed the "Chris Jones Rule" in CFL circles (after Jones and his coaching staff bolted for Saskatchewan a week after winning the 2015 Grey Cup with Edmonton), teams are now unable to talk to employees of other teams past a certain date (believed to be January 31).  It should more accurately be labelled the Noel Thorpe Rule since the edict was invoked after the Alouettes Defensive Coordinator tried to bolt to Edmonton for a lateral position weeks after the Jones move.

Regardless, the loophole in the rule is that employees can switch teams if permission is granted by their employer and Commissioner Orridge.

And as TSN's Gary Lawless reported Saturday morning on Twitter, the talent pool from which Len Rhodes is able to pick isn't as shallow as you'd think.

Lawless constructed an impressive list of Assistant GMs, or otherwise personnel people, from across the league who may be available including: Geroy Simon (BC), Neil McEvoy (BC), Brendan Mahoney (Calgary), Cole Hufnagel (Calgary), Jeremy O'Day (Saskatchewan), John Murphy (Saskatchewan), Ted Goveia (Winnipeg), Danny McManus (Winnipeg), Shawn Burke (Hamilton), Brock Sunderland (Ottawa) and Joey Abrams (just left Montreal).

The Chris Jones Rule, or what I'd prefer to call the Orridge Rule, isn't as daunting as you'd think given the fact management and coaching types can move from team to team - or at least be interviewed - if permission is granted.

For instance, Jeremy O'Day already interviewed with Rhodes four years ago when the Eskimos eventually settled on Hervey.

Will Rhodes be asking for permission again?

We'll know soon.