Winning wasn’t enough for Ed Hervey to remain with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Hervey was fired as the club’s vice-president of football operations and general manager on Friday just over a year after leading Edmonton to a Grey Cup title. Hervey was in the final year of his deal but president/CEO Len Rhodes said he decided — with the board of directors’ blessing — to terminate Hervey after the two sides had reached an impasse in contract negotiations.
“Two major reasons drove this decision,” Rhodes told reporters during a news conference in Edmonton. “First, both parties could not agree to contract extension terms.
“Secondly, there are differences in philosophy over the way we do business. During the course of recent negotiations for a possible contract extension, it became clear that we would be unable to meet Ed’s expectations.”
Paul Jones, Edmonton’s veteran executive director of player personnel, will serve as interim GM. Rhodes said while his search for Hervey’s successor begins immediately, he wouldn’t provide a timeline regarding when he’d like a new general manager in place.
Rhodes said Maas, heading into his second season as Eskimos head coach, will remain in that post regardless of who’s hired as GM.
“Jason Mass is our head coach, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “A new GM is not coming in to fix something that’s not broken.”
Hervey’s departure prompted an interesting response from Eskimos receiver Nate Coehoorn.
“Crazy news out of Eskimo land. I wonder if giving pay cuts to a lot of veteran players had anything to do with it,” he tweeted before deleting his post.
Rhodes said philosophical differences regarding team access contributed to his decision to fire Hervey.
“The resistance to provide access became increasingly an difficult issue over the past year,” Rhodes said. “It became a barrier to what we feel is required to grow our organization in terms of success in a marketplace that’s increasingly competitive.
“We are a major brand in this community. We can’t be held back by our own barriers. When you talk about access, that’s the major gap we had.”