Q: Why not make a move now?
A: Because first of all we didn't want to do it right away because I hadn't even talked to Tom about it, or the owners. We want to explore every possibility first. And I know the sentiments that he expressed, including - is there a way somehow to make this work. Which is unlikely - I'll admit that - especially when basically he eliminated the option of restructuring, there is also a possibility of a trade. Now understand that with one year left on the contract, with a high cap number, his agent (David Dunn) has a lot of control over that. I am aware of that, but we're not going to drag this out. We just owe it to the franchise to explore our options before we do anything.
Q: So it's safe to say that you are going to give this a couple of days?
A: Not any more than that. When I expressed to him that my first option was to try to keep him if at all possible - and I said that to all of you in the last two days before this and I said that to him. He just walked in this morning and asked me what my thinking was and I mapped everything out. But he didn't feel that he wanted any part of restructuring, because you can't restructure a one-year contract unless you extend it even if you make it voidable which would have made him most likely a free agent after this year. But he wasn't interested and I understand that, I respect that.
Q: Have you received any offers for him?
A: Well, I am not going to get into all of that. This just happened this morning. The fact is that an offer is going to be hard because - I can't speak for other clubs - but most clubs are going to want to do something more than one year and lower that cap number. So the agent and Kerry can control essentially what direction that goes in. I mean we could get an offer from someone else and they won't be able to make a deal because of the agent.
Q: Is Kerry allowed to explore other things now?
Q: Are you confident that Eli is so good he'll be able to skip over first-year hazards?
A: I've said to you guys that I thought he was one of the better prospects in the last 20 years, and our actions speak for that answer. He sure projects it. But there are no guarantees in life. I told David Dunn that today. We would tell that to clubs too, because sometimes the agents call us, but I wanted to make sure that he knew he had that opportunity.
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