Brian Chiu

Great News!
Brian Chiu has resigned for 3 years!
Unfortunately he is still hurt and won't play against Ottawa Saturday. But playing a few of games wiith out him must :mrgreen: of convinced Popp to sign him fast.

Hes the BEST OLineman in the league! WOW!!
Plus he's the coolest dude!



Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 11:00AM

Face-to-face talks with Als GM Popp led to three-year pact

Herb Zurkowsky,
Montreal Gazette

Bryan Chiu's new contract with the Alouettes came together in record-breaking time - once the veteran centre removed his agent from the equation.

Chiu has nothing against Vancouver-based Ross Gurney. But Gurney and Montreal general manager Jim Popp were at loggerheads until the player told his representative to sit this one out. Forty-eight hours later, the two sides agreed to a three-year deal, probably making Chiu one of the CFL's highest-paid offensive-linemen.

The contract, announced Tuesday by the team, pays the 31-year-old well over $100,000 a year and includes a significant signing bonus. Chiu was eligible to become a free agent in February. This marked the first time he represented himself.

"It's my ninth year. I understand the system and the league. I know what to negotiate for," he said. "I told Ross last Friday I'd deal with it myself. There wasn't much to negotiate. I'm at the point where I know how things are handled.

"It's not that things couldn't get done between Ross and Jim, but they're different personalities. Sometimes it's hard having someone in the middle. This way, nothing was lost in the translation. I told them what I wanted, Jim said what the team could do and we compromised."

Popp, while not having a bias against agents, said it's easier dealing directly with the player. If an agent's used, he added, it's easier if negotiations occur in person than over the phone.

"It's easier doing it directly with the player," he said. "The agent's the middle man. Things aren't always translated from my mouth to the player's ear the way it's described. It's a longer process with an agent, but I'd never tell a guy not to have an agent."

Most agents work on a 3-per-cent commission. Many CFL veteran players, once they understand how the business works, feel more comfortable representing themselves.

"I never put something in a guy's face and try to make him sign on the spot," Popp said. "Some think the worst, like I'm out to get them, but I want guys to be comfortable and want to be here before they sign. I always tell them to take what we've talked about and go home, talk to their wife, parents, a friend or their lawyer."

Although there's something to be said about the lure of returning home, the 6-foot-2, 309-pound Chiu has spent his entire career in Montreal and plans on retiring as an Alouette. Chiu, born in Vancouver, married a Montreal native and moved into a West Island home over the summer. He's actively involved in the community during the winter.

"I think there's something to be said about being loyal to a team that has been good to me," he said.

Chiu said he also was influenced to re-sign so he could continue playing for beleaguered head coach Don Matthews, who has come under some criticism following the Als' 49-23 loss to Toronto last weekend.

"We have the best head coach in the league, regardless of what anyone says. He sticks his neck on the line and just expects us to play," Chiu said. "He's a good person. You guys (in the media) don't know the half of it.

"One of my motivating factors in re-signing was that he said he'd be here." Matthews yesterday admitted he's concerned about his defence. Montreal has allowed 127 points and more than 1,500 yards in the last three games. Injuries, sporadic play and the defection of defensive-end Mark Word have forced the coach to juggle his lineup.

"When you lose your continuity as a team, you're not as effective. You lose experience and continuity ... and could be forced to use a limited package," he said. "Absolutely, I'm worried, because of the changes and injuries."

With the Als virtually locked into second place in the East Division, Matthews said he'll use Montreal's final two games to experiment, seeking his strongest roster. But he expects the team to play hard and win.

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