As soon as I heard rumblings yesterday morning that the Riders were in discussions with BC, I knew it was only a matter of time before we traded for Geroy Simon. Let’s face it, this is Brendan Taman we are talking about. Once he sets his mind on making a bad move there is no stopping him. Then by mid day it became official and we shipped Justin Harper and a 3rd round pick in 2014 to BC for the CFL’s all-time leading receiver.
As you can tell I do not like this move. The price does not bother me. Justin Harper proved useless (just the latest in the long, long line of failed Taman WR recruits) and while I do not like trading picks away for imports, a 3rd rounder for a starter is not unreasonable. Personally I wouldn’t give up anything for a guy you know is about to be cut but the price itself is negligible so it does not bother me.
What bothers me is what we are going to be paying Simon. It was a given that Simon would have to take a pay cut from his $200,000 salary this year. But despite the fact that he’ll soon be 38, is coming off an injury plagued season that was statistically his worst in over a decade, and the fact that odds are slim many other teams would be lining up to throw money at a guy deemed expendable by the most successful coach in the CFL’s history and all we managed to negotiate him down to was $170,000. That is pure idiocy unless Simon is among the best 3 receivers in the league next season. Dressler has achieved demi-go status here and all we pay him is $120K.
So now we have a ridiculously expensive receiving group: Simon (170), Dressler (120), Getzlaf (120) and Carr (120). And of that expensive quartet only one of them is a sure thing. We know we have big money invested in our OL from last offseason so that logically means we will be skimping on the defense. Considering that our best LB, 2 starting halfbacks and starting DE remain unsigned, you can see where the effects of this will start to be felt in a salary cap environment.
This is a massive gamble by Taman. There is a chance that Simon could return to his all-star form and help create an explosive passing attack. There is also a chance that last season was just the start of the downward slope and Simon will perform like 38 year old Milt Stegall who sauntered around like a wounded giraffe and failed to put up 500 yards. While I can understand how you might be swayed by the first possibility, it’s ridiculous to invest $170K on that gamble (something tells me Taman is not a great poker player or market investor).
Maybe Simon will prove to be an ageless wonder and re-establish why he is the leading receiver in league history but for me it’s not worth risking $170,000 to find out.
The one good thing I'm noticing is that although Taman is still determined to continuously trade draft picks for imports, at least he's now focusing on midround picks instead of first rounders like he did in Winnipeg. In particular he seems to have a huge aversion to the 3rd round as we have not made a selection in the 3rd round in the last 3 years,
DL Armond Armstead – signs with New England for big time $$$
DL Odelll Willis – worked out for Pittsburgh
K Justin Medlock – worked out for NY Giants
DB Carlo Thomas – worked out for Minnesota
OL Brian Simmons – worked out for Washington
DB Geoff Tisdale – worked out for Minnesota
DB Rod Williams - worked out for Minnesota
DL Lee Robinson – worked out for Miami
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DL Tearrius George, FB Neal Hughes, LB Mike McCullough, RB Stefon Green, DB Ramzee Robinson (contract extension), Geroy Simon (trade with BC)
Out: DB James Patrick, K Sandro DeAngelis (released), WR Justin Harper (trade with BC)
In: DL Chima Ihekwoaba (contract extension)
In: WR Marquay McDaniel, LB Derron Mayo, DL Justin Phillips, LB Karl McCartney (contract extension)
In: OL Glenn January (contract extension)
In: QB Travis Lulay, DB Ryan Phillips (contract extension)
Out: WR Geroy Simon (traded to Sask)
In: DL Marcus Howard, LB Mike Cornell (contract extension), DL Eddie Steele (free agent signing)
Out: QB Steven Jyles, WR Glenn MacKay (released)
In: WR Dave Stala, OL Marwan Hage, Peter Dyakowski (contract extension)
In: WR Spencer Watt (contract extension)
Out: DL Ron Flemons (cut)
In: Marcel Desjardins (hired as GM)