Murphy, Burns expected back in the nation's capital
By Matthew Sekeres,
The Ottawa Renegades are on the verge of bringing back slotback Yo Murphy and offensive lineman Chris Burns.
Both veterans are in serious negotiations with the CFL club and could be signed within the week.
The Renegades have reconsidered their tough stance with Murphy just weeks after the receiver and management had all but decided to part ways.
Murphy, 34, is entering the option year of his contract and the Renegades wanted him to take a 50-per-cent pay cut. Now, the reduction will be in the vicinity of 25 per cent, meaning Murphy would make roughly $90,000 before retiring after the season.
Reached yesterday at his Florida home, Murphy said he was almost certain he would be back.
"My chances of coming back a week ago were about 0.0001 and they have really, really increased," he said. "It wasn't about money, it was about respect. I wanted to play and they've come off that first offer. The deal is cool. It's just that it came to this. If they had thrown this at me the first time, we would have had no problem."
Yesterday, Renegades president Lonie Glieberman confirmed that a reworked contract was being sent to Murphy and expressed confidence that the popular receiver would be back. As for Burns, Glieberman said the club "absolutely" had interest in signing him and that talks would continue.
Burns sat out most of last season before joining the B.C. Lions practice roster late in the year. He spent three seasons with the Renegades starting in 2002.
Burns, 33, is in Detroit this weekend working for a Vancouver radio station and hinted that an announcement could come soon.
"I'll be playing football somewhere and Ottawa would be one of my first choices," he said yesterday. "I've been really impressed with my conversations with (Glieberman)."
The Renegades intend on playing three Canadians along the offensive line but are concerned with their depth. Centre George Hudson and guard Pascal Cheron can both become free agents on Feb. 15. Talks with Hudson appear to have stalled while negotiations with Cheron have just begun.