Canadian Football League

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Edmonton cuts veteran Canadian Football League QB

- Khari Jones is the odd man out with the Edmonton Eskimos. The veteran quarterback, the CFL's outstanding player in 2001, was among the Eskimos' final cuts Saturday as they trimmed their roster to reach the 40-man limit.
Edmonton had a glut of talent at the quarterback position with Jones, incumbent Jason Maas and Ricky Ray, who returned to the Eskimos in the off-season after being released by the NFL's New York Jets. But even with Ray's status for the club's season opener Friday night against Ottawa unclear due to a hyper-extended knee, the Eskimos went with newcomer Jason Johnson as their third quarterback ahead of Jones.
If Ray can't play against Ottawa, Maas, who last year became just the second Eskimos player to pass for more than 5,000 yards, will get the start. So, essentially, considering Johnson would be making substantially less than Jones, the move to release the veteran does make economic sense.
The Eskimos also surprisingly released Patrick Kabongo, a Canadian defensive lineman who scouts say has a lot of promise at the pro level. Linebacker Jason Lamar was among four players placed on the injured list.
CFL teams made their final cuts Saturday by 3 p.m. EDT to reach the league-mandated 40-man roster. Three of those positions are reserved for quarterbacks who can be of any nationality. Of the remaining 37 positions, 19 must be filled by Canadians.
CFL teams can also keep up to five players on their practice roster.
The 2005 CFL season kicks off Wednesday night with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Montreal to face the Alouettes (7:30 p.m. EDT).
Jones isn't the only veteran looking for work.
Tackle John Feugill, a two-year starter with Toronto - including last year's Grey Cup victory in Ottawa - was among 10 players released. The six-foot-seven, 288-pound Feugill lost his job to newcomer Jerome Davis, a former defensive lineman converted to offence by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.
"Jerome is athletic and has the nasty disposition of a defensive player," said Greg Mohns, the Argos player-personnel director. "John is a very athletic player but he's more finesse than he is physical.
"Jerome is athletic and also has that mean streak."
Feugill was Toronto's nominee for the CFL's outstanding rookie award in 2003. He was one of two American tackles the Argos started on their offensive line last year. The other was Bernard Williams.
Toronto begins defence of its Grey Cup title Saturday at Rogers Centre against the B.C. Lions (7 p.m. EDT) in a rematch of last year's CFL championship game.
Also released was receiver Lal Knight, a former Argos starter who sat out all of last year after being released by the club in training camp 2003. The Argos also decided on a No. 3 quarterback, keeping youngster Charles Peterson ahead of former NFL player Scott Covington, who was also cut.


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