Travis Lulay will be a BC Lion through the 2013 season, and perhaps longer than that, but right now the team and the CFL’s reigning most outstanding player are happy and comfortable going a year at a time. The team announced Tuesday that they had agreed to terms with their star quarterback.
While the move means great things on the field, off the field Lulay has proven to be just as valuable to the team and the province. His countless personal appearances this off-season, promoting the team, the Grey Cup, and various social and charitable causes have been very impressive.
Lulay sounded like a player who has set down roots.
“From my first days with the Lions I have felt both proud and blessed to have an opportunity to play the game I love in this amazing place I now call home,” said Lulay. “Winning a championship in front of a home crowd at BC Place was an amazing experience and I believe we have the makings of another very talented club in 2012. I am very grateful to our fans for their patience during this process and they can rest assured my focus is on bringing home another Grey Cup.”
As 55 Yard Line’s Andrew Bucholtz points out, the one year extension could benefit both sides down the line.
“Make no mistake, though: this still is a good deal for the Lions. Lulay had an amazing year last season, earning a league all-star nod, the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award and the Grey Cup MVP award, and he persevered through some early adversity to lead his team to a championship. His CFL market value is sky-high at the moment, and there have been rumours of NFL interest as well. Plus, from an age perspective, the 28-year-old Lulay should still have plenty of great seasons left in the tank. Preventing him from entering free agency next summer is a big win for B.C.”
While what Bucholtz says is completely valid, personally I wouldn’t be too worried about Lulay leaving the Lions for another CFL club. He has become a big part of the community, and at his age could be a valuable marketing tool for years and the two sides seem to have a mutual respect and understanding. If he has another good year, say he wins another Grey Cup, the Lions will have another year to work out a longer term deal, Lulay willing. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who wants to test free agency, and I think something drastic would have to happen for him to do so. An NFL opportunity would be another story, but I just get the feeling that Lulay wants to play and realizes he can make a pretty good living doing so here in Canada.
Time will tell, but for now the Lions have their man…on the field and off it.
Apologies for the tardiness of this big news. We had the post ready to go last night, but our web host was down last night!