Riders proposed pay cut: B.C.-bound McCallum

Kicker Paul McCallum has signed with the B.C. Lions and McCallum says his old team, the Saskatchawn Roughriders, proposed a "drastic" pay cut

Saskatchewan Roughrider kicker Paul McCallum has signed with the B.C. Lions, saying the Riders wanted to cut his salary and had lost confidence in him.

"As any employee will know, it is difficult, maybe impossible, to work for someone who deep down believes that you cannot do the job," McCallum told a news conference in Regina Wednesday afternoon.

The Vancouver-based football club announced earlier in the day it had signed the veteran kicker.

"The addition of Paul definitely helps us address some concerns that we've had," Lions general manager and head coach Wally Buono said in a statement. "I believe his experience will add strength to our special teams."

Details of the deal were not released but McCallum, 36, said he signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year.

He wouldn't say how much he's being paid, but said it's "similar" to what the Riders were paying him in his last contract.

McCallum said he's leaving the Riders largely because the community-owned club wanted him to accept a drastic "take-it-or-leave it" pay cut.

McCallum, who was born in Surrey, B.C., but had been with Saskatchewan for 13 years, holds the record for the longest field goal in CFL history with a 62-yard boot against the Edmonton Eskimos in October 2001.

He made national headlines during the 2004 playoffs after he missed a crucial 18-yard field goal in overtime against the Lions.

The Roughriders went on to lose the game, and outraged fans vandalized McCallum's northwest Regina home with eggs, dumped manure on his neighbour's lawn, and uttered death threats to his family.

A man was charged and later pleaded guilty to criminal offences in a Regina court. The news likely won't come as a shock to most football fans – a Vancouver radio station reported earlier this week that McCallum was on his way to B.C.

with files from Canadian Press