Logjam at running back: Messam returns to Eskimos

Logjam at running back: Messam returns to Eskimos

By Chris O'Leary, Edmonton Journal August 29, 2012 11:26 AM

Messam, who signed a deal with NFL Miami after the 2011 season - in which Messam starred for the Eskimos en route to being named the CFL’s top Canadian - was cut Sunday by Miami and is returning to Edmonton.

- Jerome Messam is back in Edmonton, ready to resume his career in the Canadian Football League.
The league’s most outstanding Canadian in 2011, chose to forego the 10-day window he had with the National Football League, after the Miami Dolphins released him on Saturday. In passing on offers from other NFL teams and rejoining the Eskimos, where he rushed for 1,057 yards last year, the 27-year-old has given his team a good problem. Edmonton now has a wealth of talent at a position that it was thin at just two weeks ago.

The Eskimos could have Messam on the field at Commonwealth Stadium for practice as early as Thursday, which in theory could have him making his 2012 CFL debut on Labour Day against the Calgary Stampeders.

Eskimos running back Cory Boyd, who came to the team on Aug. 12 when the Toronto Argonauts released him, had already shifted from saying the right things about his former team to saying the right things about Messam’s impending return on Monday night after the Eskimos win over the Argos.

“One thing I want people to stop saying is, ‘How many touches am I going to get?’? Boyd said after he turned nine carries into 45 yards on Monday.

“It doesn’t matter how many touches I get. When I’m out on that field, I love the fact that I’m playing this game. Just me being there … it changes the mindset of defences.?

Messam will give the Eskimos some ratio flexibility and could present some interesting lineup combinations for his team. While Messam is a proven commodity from last year, Boyd has been outstanding in his own right in his three-year CFL career, rushing for 1,359 yards with Toronto in 2010 and 1,141 a year ago. At the time of his release he was leading the league in rushing.

Hugh Charles has also made a name for himself this season in Edmonton. The former Saskatchewan Roughriders backup running back made up the bulk of the Eskimos offence in the first few weeks of the season. He leads the team in rushing with 504 yards on 106 carries. He has caught 16 passes this year for 284 yards and has four touchdowns in the Eskimos’ eight games. The Eskimos are taking Wednesday off before beginning preparations for their Monday game against Calgary, who boasts a highly talented running back of their own in Jon Cornish.

now my question to you is: Who do they let go?

Good question, I am guessing that nobody will be let go for the time being, at least until Messam has cleared all the medical hurdles. Once that happens I would expect the Eskimo's to try to trade one of the RB's but I don't see that happening until after the back to back with Calgary.

They will keep all three till Messam extends. He may want to wait and try the NFL next year. It would not surprise me.

And McCarty makes four.

Messam just had surgery in May he may not even be physically ready to play up to full speed. I would suspect that was the issue with the Dolphins. In coming back to edmonton he is now getting paid again wether he is able to get back on the field, placed on game to game IR will his salary will count towards the cap, or going to the 9 game IR which basically puts him out for the seasn with pay and not against the cap.
No one outside the esks organization knows the answer to that question but it has been specualted in the media that he did rush his return to coincide with NFL training camp.
This story will unfold in the near future.

Who knows the medical situation, but the best thing if they think he'll be good to go by Thanksgiving weekend is to lock him up for the minimum 2+1(club option for the most part).

Otherwise, if he really had offers from other NFL teams but refused and came back, I have no doubt he will change his mind at the end of the season and try the NFL once again.

His best bet is to come to agreement to stay in Edmonton for up to three seasons and work on regaining full strength into the offseason. The chance of re-injury by coming back to soon to real-time is quite high.

Well damn, it looks like he will be good to go as soon as next week? :o

What the hell do we do now?

Run the wishbone or the triple option (two wing backs [would be Boyd and Charles] who motion off the wings of the line with one tailback [Messam])? :roll:

I just don't get it, and how I wish damnit that the game day roster was expanded to 46 players so we would not have this problem again on any team in the CFL! :x


C'mon Cohon address this matter with the owners please!

If Messam is secured to an exclusive 2+ year deal (and is healthy) Boyd may be the odd man out once again.
This is the reality in a smaller league, whereas backs are a dime a dozen and technicalities rule the game.

Poor fellow can not catch a break.

The guy underwent knee surgery in May, was cut from Miami without playing one down. Do they give him a job because of what he did last year?

And that reality given the "technicalities" is what seriously needs to change.

That reality of teams having to make cuts of even players who can start, ahead of the the OT format, is my biggest and chief complaint with the CFL versus what it should be!

Yes there may be a reason why he got very limited reps and did not play a down in the NFL pre season. He may say he is ready to go what player woudnt want to play. he will have to prove on the field in practice that indeed he is 100%. If he is anything less than 100% then I can not see the Esks playing him.
He had the one surgery rushed back in the off season causing another surgery in Miami then rushed back for TC.
Is there any word on his physical in Edmonton yet?

We got ourselves a full house. :lol:

I listened to the Messam video on the Esks website from yesterday and after the media interview the physical was next. No word as of yet; however Messam was asked about contract and his answer was his Agent/Esks were upstairs working it out. Don't think there will be a problem with his physical though, likely play in the return game in Edmonton vs Calgary.

It's official now too. From the sounds of it, Messam will be back playing already probably Friday.

So what happens next with that full house? :? We are going to two- and three-back sets? :o

The Esks seemed to have found a good chemistry with Charles and Boyd last game. Messam has signed which means that he will be part of their long term plans. Reed is still waiting to see if Messam is back up to speed since surgery before he plans to make any decisions about Messams role at the current time. It is a luxury that most teams just do not have. Reed has proven to be an excellent coach and will not just throw Messam into the Mix without careful consideration to all of the circumstances; Health Chenistry, etc. Again a great luxury on top of the fact he is a NI would be a better situation for the future at current time.
NFL teams have used three headed monsters before with success but will it be successful in 3 downs. Fred stamps may have gotten just a little more unhappy.
To bad the Argos do not have anything that the Esks need as I am sure stamps would be happy to see Ray and vice versa.
Maybe a star for for star blockbuster trade Stamps for Owens. Toronto gets that receiver and Coach reed gets his return specialist as he does not want Burnett back there returning but aside from that last blow up Burnett makes the difference in the Esks return game. In fact being a returner was supposed to be his ticket to pro football but just like with the steelers in the NFL he continues to be a top corner for the Esks and the CFL now

We could run a three card monte play in the backfield. Oh hells yeah! :o

What do you want, unlimited rosters and no salary cap?

No, just an active roster of 46 please: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=76473#p1353969

Messam healthy, Boyd is lucky to last the season I say.

An active roster of 46 probably means more overhead contract/salary costs to the teams and that is an issue in the CFL.

You load the teams with just a few more solid players, and you just watch the extra money made up in better overall play as leads to more fans, attendance, sponsorship, merchandise, et cetera.

The league will grow, and the owners can find a way to make this addition of UP TO four players work. If they wish to stay at 42 players, no problem but the salary cap will be adjusted accordingly for those up to four extra players per game.