Murphy 'insulted' with team's low offer according to Ottawa Citizen
By Matthew Sekeres,
Yo Murphy has played his last game with the Ottawa Renegades, but it has nothing to do with retirement.
The veteran receiver, who has contemplated retirement following the past two seasons, says he is physically fit and willing to play in 2006, but was insulted by the club's proposal for restructuring his contract.
"It was a slap in the face. They offered my money that I could understand if I wasn't productive," Murphy said from his Tampa home. "I'm trying to hold my tongue as much as possible, but it looks like they really don't want me back."
Murphy, 34, was scheduled to earn roughly $110,000 this year, with a roster bonus of $25,000 due on Feb. 1. The Renegades wanted him to take a minimum 50-per-cent pay cut, and they currently don't intend to pick up his option.
"We haven't made a final decision," team president Lonie Glieberman said from his Michigan ski resort. "We're going to take another shot at this, but that's where we're going with it.
"Right now, we're looking at different options, but regardless of what happens, Yo has been a key member of this team and has maybe done more for the Renegades, on and off the field, than anyone."
Because the CFL's new salary cap doesn't include penalties in 2007, the decision on Murphy came down to football as much as business. Head coach John Jenkins, who didn't immediately return calls yesterday, has discovered top-flight receivers in the past, and it appears Murphy no longer fits into the team's plans.
"I've beat young, fast guys out when I was 30 years old, so I can understand where they are coming from, but if they feel their receivers are that good, I would have been glad if they had told me they were going in another direction," Murphy said. "I really felt like playing, I didn't feel beat up at all."
Murphy fronted some of the club's community-outreach efforts and also maintains a charitable foundation in Idaho, where he played football in college. He said he had some offers to enter coaching, adding he is likely to end his playing career unless he can return to Ottawa.
"I'm too old to be giving it a shot in any old city," he said.
Murphy appeared in 17 CFL games last season, catching 58 passes for 866 yards and a team-leading seven touchdowns. He was widely respected in the locker-room and was a favourite target of quarterback Kerry Joseph.
Murphy joined the Renegades partway through the 2003 season after spending parts of three NFL seasons with Tampa Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis and Kansas City. He also played in NFL Europe, winning the World Bowl MVP award in 1996, and he was a member of the B.C. Lions' Grey Cup-championship roster in 1994.