Well this was certainly a busy week for QBs in the CFL.
We’ll start here in Saskatchewan where the Riders announced that Darian Durant has agreed to a contract extension. While details of the new contract were not released its safe to assume its at least a 2 year deal that gives a hefty raise to Double D (likely in the $250K to $300K range now). It’s a well deserved reward for Durant who grew by leaps and bounds last year and developed into one of the top QBs in the league. You have to go back a number of years to find the last time the Riders had continuity at QB… and even further back to find a time when we had talented continuity at QB. If Double D continues where he left off last year we have good reason to be very excited about our offense in 2010. It will be as unstoppable as a Toyota… too soon?
While we were locking up one QB we were sending another on his way. Dalton Bell was traded to the Argonauts for a 5th round pick in the 2010 draft. I’m not all that concerned about the loss of Bell. He was hyped as the next franchise QB upon his arrival here but after a little more than a season all he ended up being was the next franchise clipboard holder. My only concern here is the return we got for Bell. Basic supply and demand should dictate that when a team with absolutely no options at QB (i.e. high demand) comes knocking, the price should be relatively high. Cripes we had to give up Kitwana Jones to get Juan Woah-seph… and we already had other options at QB.
Unfortunately for Bell it took him only one day to lose the starter’s spot in Toronto. The next day the Argos signed former Buffalo Bills 3rd stringer Gibran Hamdan. Talk about an epic training camp showdown… Hamdan vs. Bell. One wasn’t good enough for the Bills (who have been reduced to starting the likes of Trent Edwards and JP Losman). The other wasn’t good enough to even take a 1 yard plunge for the Riders (when the guy who did earn that job repeatedly screwed up). Bell, by virtue of having appeared in a pre-season game, is the veteran of the pair. Somehow the Argos have managed to be worse off at QB now then they were last year.
But fear not Argo fans. Even though Bell and Hamdan may not instil a great deal of confidence in your team, the Argos are working on a 3rd option that is sure to put you at ease… Cleo Lemon! That’s right apparently Jim Barker is working on luring Lemon to the CFL. The Argos QB woes just get worse and worse. Their 2 primary options are QB aren’t all that good and their 3rd option is a Lemon.
In the least shocking move of the week the Lions released Buck Pierce. Maybe it was his upcoming salary bonus that led to the release. Maybe it was his ridiculous $300k price tag (I still don’t know what Wally was thinking when he inked that one). Maybe it was the fact that the only thing that outnumbered his concussions in 2009 were his interceptions. Likely it was all 3. Buono tried trading him but it turns out that the marker for an overpriced player who isn’t that good and is always hurt, isn’t what it used to be (damn recession affects everything). Pierce though is undeterred and is now putting his efforts towards upcoming NFL tryouts that he has (seriously). If he ends up attending the tryouts like he plans he may become the first QB to suffer a career ending concussion in an NFL tryout that consists entirely of non-contact drills.
Lastly, it seems as though the Eskimos will finally join the 21st century and replace their archaic natural grass with field turf for the upcoming season. My first reaction was to question how dumb the Esks’ management must be to take this long to make such an obvious and overdue decision… but then I remembered that this is the same management group that made Danny Maciocia their GM so that question pretty much answers itself.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: RB Wes Cates (re-signed)
I’m rather indifferent on this signing. Our run game was about as useful as the New Jersey Nets last year so it’s hard to get excited about his return. That said I was always in favour of bring Cates to training camp at a reduced price and giving him a chance to prove if he can regain his 2008 form. Besides it’s not like we have an abundance of other options at RB at this point.
In: OL Skip Seagreaves (re-signed), DB Steve Holness (free agent signing)
Seriously, who names their kid Skip?
In: RB Cory Boyd (free agent signing)
In college, Boyd played for the South Carolina Gamecocks so Toronto marks quite the career progression for him. He goes from playing with a bunch of cocks to playing with a bunch of useless boobs.
In: OL John Hashem, WR Scott McHenry, DB LaVar Glover, DB Clint Kent (free agent signing)
Hashem and McHenry are both Saskatchewan products so I guess that means LaPolice must still be pushing the “Buy Saskatchewan” agenda that he learned here.
Out: LB Tim Johnson (released)
Johnson asked for his release. Many Stamp fans are saddened by this loss… though I have no idea why. Johnson was best described as a “run stopper”… which is a polite way of saying that he is embarrassingly bad at pass coverage which tends to be important in the CFL. Personally I think this will improve the Stamps rather than hurt them.