Betts must play this year, according to Glen Constantin
Cutback at the Chicago Bears training camp, former Rouge et Or Mathieu Betts must play football this year. This is at least the opinion of his former coach Glen Constantin, who believes that his former star has interest in jumping on the field again in the short term.
“I talked to him on the phone and he’s a little disappointed. That’s normal, “Constantin said Thursday about the Bears ‘decision not to retain Betts’ name either on their regular training or on their training team. The Bears had signed a three-year pact at Betts in April immediately after the NFL draft, where no team had selected him.
“Mathieu told me he was happy with his effort, that he had left everything on the ground. He is a talented player and this is the first time he has been cut since the beginning of his career. It’s something to live with, but it seems to be calm in there, “says Constantin, who is convinced that his former protégé will be playing football somewhere this year.
Winger or linebacker?
“Right now, he has to decide whether he’s trying to sign a contract with another NFL team or if he’s going to the Canadian Football League (CFL), where his rights belong to the Edmonton Eskimos who have drafted with the third pick of the last draft in May. The difference is that he will be used as a defensive end if he goes into the CFL and it could slow his progression as a linebacker, “says Constantin.
After setting a record of the Quebec-Ontario university conference with 35.5 career quarterback sacks and winning two JP Metras trophies awarded to the best defensive lineman in the country, Betts was signed off to play as an outside linebacker at Chicago. In four preseason games, however, he only had three tackles.
“However, I think he has to play football this year, even if it’s in the CFL, and that’s what I told him. There is already half of the past season, but he could be added to the team and exhaust a year of contract and then try his luck again in the NFL later, “believes Constantine. “Changing position is another horizon he did not know before, but it’s a decision made by the athlete and his agent,” he added.
Meanwhile, Betts’ agent, Sasha Ghavami, assures him that his client is keeping his spirits up. “He is not too discouraged, we are working on the file with other teams now,” he says. Before getting along with the Bears in April, Betts had gone a hair’s breadth of signing with the Arizona Cardinals, who had also been interested in him and with whom Ghavami was negotiating at the same time as with the formation of City of Winds during the repechage. Logistical formalities had frustrated the deal with the Cards, which had paved the way for a contract with the Bears.
«On regarde toutes nos options. Je dirais que l’option numéro un de Mathieu, c’est de jouer au football. Il y a 1200 joueurs qui ont été coupés dans la NFL depuis vendredi et très peu auront la chance de continuer à jouer au niveau professionnel. Le fait que les droits de Mathieu appartiennent aux Eskimos lui donne un avantage», poursuit Ghavami, soulignant qu’à part la NFL et les Eskimos, la XFL, qui devrait reprendre vie en 2020, figure aussi parmi les options du Montréalais de 24 ans.
«On n’a pas le choix d’explorer toutes les options», indique Ghavami. «Pour ce qui est de la XFL, ça pourrait aussi être une avenue intéressante», analyse-t-il. La ligue professionnelle américaine de huit équipes de l’homme d’affaires Vince McMahon, qui a existé le temps d’une saison en 2001, tiendra son repêchage en octobre et renaîtra de ses cendres tout juste après le prochain Super Bowl pour disputer un calendrier régulier de dix parties.
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