Edmonton Elks trade franchise quarterback Trevor Harris to Montreal – .

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Edmonton Elks trade franchise quarterback Trevor Harris to Montreal – .


The player so highly advertised as the franchise’s new quarterback when he came to the rescue following Michael Reilly’s departure ahead of the 2019 season, is now making a sudden exit

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There is a saying in football when a season goes awry that as long as you win your biggest rivalry game of the year it will be a success.

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Well, the Edmonton Elks are here to prove the old adage is wrong it seems, because winning their first Labor Day Classic against the hated Calgary Stampeders wasn’t just the highlight of their season, but also the beginning of the end for Trevor. Harris’ time in green and gold.

The player so highly advertised as the franchise’s new quarterback when he came to the rescue following Michael Reilly’s departure ahead of the 2019 season, is now making a sudden exit after making 71.3% of his passes for 5,595 yards, 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 19 games.

Harris was traded for quarterback Steven Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw and a first-round pick for an NFL offensive tackle who would retire before setting foot on CFL land…

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Oh, wait. No, that was the last time Edmonton sold its QB franchise 10 years ago. This time around, the Elks get Montreal Alouettes second-year defensive end Antonio Simmons in exchange for 35-year-old quarterback who ranks 24th in passing yards of all time, with 23,750 yards.

But this one has nothing to do with who is coming and everything to do with who is gone and the club he leaves behind.

General manager Brock Sunderland summed up an Elks season that strayed completely from his expectations almost every step of the way before ending up in the trade, which from the outside seems to all but hoisting the white flag over them. Edmonton’s playoff aspirations.

A season that looked so promising at first after improving to 2-2 with their first Labor Day Classic victory in 10 years, saw a tumultuous fall on the way to a five-game losing skid.

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“Coming back from Calgary on the bus, if you had told me that we would be here today to discuss this topic with the file we have, I would say there is no way.

“But it’s professional football. I always say you expect the unexpected. This one, certainly, is the least expected thing this season that I could have thought of.

The organization’s take on Harris’ play has since taken a complete 180-degree turn, especially after being pulled out early in the fourth quarter in a 30-3 loss to Winnipeg two weeks ago, where the attack could not even move the ball.

“I think the post-Calgary, Labor Day game, that changed in terms of performance and free time potentially played a little part in that to maybe play well,” Sunderland said. . “But I’m going to strengthen, it was a performance-based decision. With all the other stuff, Trevor is the consummate pro, he’s an absolutely great person.

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“The reason it’s so shocking is the relationships and history of Trevor, me, Jaime (Elizondo, head coach). We certainly thought we put the puzzle together as well as you could when the change was made in January with the departure of Scott (Milanovich) (as head coach).

Sunday’s announcement wasn’t just the culmination of a head coach’s whim or a desperate final take from a general manager hoping to do something – anything – to try and save the season.

“A decision of this magnitude is being discussed at all levels of the organization, from top to bottom,” Sunderland said. “We all agree on that, and it happened quite quickly.

The conversation began on the trip home from Winnipeg after Harris’ last game, before he was relegated to Channel 3 status in the final week of preparation before Friday’s rematch at home, where Harris is appeared on the sidelines and without uniform.

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And given that the Elks may have moved closer to an interception return abandoned for a touchdown to be on the winning side of the 26-16 score against the first-place Bombers, Sunderland says he has no doubts his team are ready to play for new starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius.

“No, I think our guys played really hard and I think the proof – we always say the eye in the sky isn’t lying – watch the movie,” Sunderland said. “Anyone who watched our game on Friday, I don’t think they could have walked away and said, ‘This team is not unified and is playing hard football and playing for each other. “”

Now the job is to win back support from the city and the fan base, after the club’s image continues to take massive hits following the sacking of 49-year-old equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak – an ember that is set ablaze again. recently, when former player-turned-radio analyst Eddie Steele blamed the season at Sunderland for what Steele sees as a divided dressing room.

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A hall which has so far proven to lack the necessary foundations for any sort of winning “culture” – which has been a key term this season.

“Our job is to win football matches, we don’t do that right now, we’re 2-7,” Sunderland said, adding that no one outside the locker room knows what’s going on inside. “And when we beat Calgary to Calgary and we were 2-2 and had back-to-back road wins, culture was never a discussion.

“I think it’s a by-product of wins and losses, and rightly so. It’s professional football, you don’t get points for moral wins.

Maybe not, but you can certainly lose something even more important than points by demoralizing your fans.

E-mail : [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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