Cam Wake might not go the NFL? Read this

Lowell Ullrich, The Province
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It is a league with bigger players and even larger salaries. There's no way, at least on form, the Lions could possibly compete with anything an NFL team could offer defensive end Cam Wake.

But, coach and general manager Wally Buono said Monday, that will not stop him from asking what it would take to work out a contract extension with the presumptive two-time CFL defensive player of the year.

And if Buono makes an offer prior to the formal opening of the option-year window, which would be contrary to his way of doing business in the past, Wake said he would be receptive.

The window of opportunity may have a crack that works both ways.

As he cleaned out his locker stall, Wake sounded as if he might be the one player who would be willing to look at all aspects of a CFL vs. NFL existence. "Oh yes, I would listen, without a doubt, I really would," he said at the Surrey practice facility.

If it's posturing, it's the same position taken by the Lions with other players heading into their option years. Buono has repeatedly stated players in the age bracket of Wake, 26, should first fulfil their NFL goals before planting roots, thus reducing their price.

For Wake, it's also no different from what tailback Joe Smith did last season. Smith signalled his intent to re-sign with the Lions while using his option-year window to determine the financial sincerity of an offer from the NFL's Houston Texans.

But upon hearing again that Wake is interested in talking about a new Lions deal, Buono said he'll break a rule. He'd also have no problem making Wake one of the highest-paid players on the team, a distinction that generally goes to offensive players.

"Of course, he's worth putting him near the top of the [pay] structure. We'll give him the whole salary cap," said Buono, who quickly made sure his questioners knew he was only speaking in jest. "That could cause pain when it comes to the salary cap. But we'll definitely sit down and talk soon."

There was a pronounced sense of resignation as the Lions said their farewells following a short team meeting.

"We all know changes are coming," said defensive lineman Tyrone Williams, who expressed his desire to play out his option year next season.

"This is going to be the hardest offseason in the history of the B.C. Lions," said defensive back Ryan Phillips. "I know there are guys who are always going to want to get paid. But what players have to realize is you can be the highest-paid player, but you may not be on a winning team."

B.C. can't match the non-guaranteed $310,000 US earned by NFL rookies who make an opening-day roster. The equation is whether the Lions can offer a six-figure signing bonus worked out within a long-term CFL contract.

"He's going to get no less than, like, an $80,000 bonus [from an NFL team]," predicted defensive back Korey Banks, who was offered $15,000 by the Minnesota Vikings before he signed an extension last season with the Lions.

"It's going to vary by position, and your age matters, but it makes no sense for [NFL teams] to bring you in for camp fodder at his age if they're not interested," said teammate Dante Marsh, who also worked out two years ago for the Kansas City Chiefs before settling down with the Lions.

I think Cam is just saying all the right things and doesn’t want to burn any bridges. It would be unbelievable if he resigned in B.C. but don’t hold your breath.

Read my lips, He's gone! who knows might one day return, i hate it when the CFL loses great players, what happened to the days of playing with heart and not the dam mighty dollar! so off he goes to the No Fun League :frowning:

if the right opptunity does not come his way with any of theses teams he will sighn here, i would not be suprised if that happends

I think Buck Pierce is more taylor made for the NFL than the cfl.

So I'm glad that you're in the Wake family and have the inside scoop!

He wouldn't be saying that he'd "listen" if he didn't mean it...there's no reason to. Obviously, the Lions can't compete with what some NFL teams are offering...but, until you're inside Cam Wake's head, you can't speak for him.

That is so true: who knows what Cameron Wake wants. i do belive he wants to play in the NFL, but in the right situation, even if he does get a six figure signing bonus, if he has any doubt that he is not going to play much he will not sign with them, that is what i read between the lines anyway, i heard on cknw yesturday from jim mullin talking with David Braley and Wally Buono who would have a better idea of were Cam Wake is mentally about this than you or i, saying that if cam wake does not feel he will get the playing time he wants he will not sign with him that is what wally told him yesturday. so i say yes he probebly will go the NFL, but the Lions are sitting there with a big window open to make him the highest played payer at his position in the cfl which i would think around the two hundread and seventy five thousand range a year.and Jim Mullin also said that the big window they have for him would be a long term deal 3-4 years.

Both CKNW and Team 1040 have made comments like "Don't be so sure the Lions wont make an offer to keep Cam Wake here".

Whats that saying....If theres smoke....

And with all the salaries Wally is dumping (Clermont, Floyd, Williams) could this be Cameron Wake money?

bye bye cam

Yep Wake is as good as gone with a reportedly $500,000 signing bonus on the table. Great for him he deserves it.

Que Wally using his $500,000 cap room to revamp his defence by going after Lloyd or McKenzie and making linebacking the team's strength. You're simply not going to replace one of the most dominant DEs this league has ever seen so reload elsewhere.

Why wouldn't the Lions put an offer on the table? If they don't it perhaps could effect if Wake would return to them if he doesn't stick down south.

Signing bonus is guaranteed money and from reports his offered signing bonus is easily two years of CFL money. Can't see a reason why to turn that down.

good luck,cam! looking forward to watching you in the big league yuo deserve it,man.

Unless David Braley can pay him $500,000.00 to wash his Mercedes, and hide it as a personal services contract,a high salary like that would but you over the cap or at worst, tie your hands to sign other valuable players.

We just have to rely on our scouts to find another Cam Wake some where.

If this is Wake's option year, then he must return to the lions if he doesnt stick, They still own his rights