The Toronto Argonauts will consider signing free-agent quarterback Jarious Jackson providing he proves to the team that he has physically recovered from an injured shoulder.
Argo general manager/head coach Jim Barker told sportsnet.ca on Friday he has talked with the free agent, who had been with the B.C. Lions since 2004 and at one point started for them.
"I’ve talked to Jarious. There's no (game) film on him, so it's hard to make a statement on where he's at," Barker said. "That’s about where to leave it."
Barker said the conversation lasted about 15-20 minutes during which time he talked about the team’s situation with its quarterbacks and Jackson’s situation. Barker has publicly stated incumbent starting quarterback Cleo Lemon will have to compete in training camp to retain his job.
"I said I need to find out more about his (physical) situation," Barker said. "At some point we would need to bring him in, and not only give him a physical, but watch him throw for an extended period. Because he has not played in two years, I have absolutely nothing to base anything on. For me to do anything except do my due diligence as a general manager as I should, that’s what I’m doing. I’m investigating every opportunity. We have not set an actual date."
Jackson, 33, chose not to re-sign with the B.C. Lions, who were offering him a deal that would have paid him about $130,000 a season, which is the going rate for a backup quarterback, not including bonuses for playing time and statistical output.
Jackson wants to compete for a starting job, and told Vancouver radio station CKWX if the Argos give him that opportunity and a decent contract, he will sign with the team.
Jackson had some game time in 2006, but it was in 2007 that he moved up to the starting role. In 11 games, he had a 9-2 record, throwing for 2,553 yards, completing 54.9 per cent of his passes and totaling 18 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He rushed for 265 yards and had three touchdowns but also nine fumbles. He completed 54.9 per cent of his passes in 2008, throwing for 2,164 yards and had 17 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions and rushed for 362 yards, scoring two touchdowns and fumbling four times.
His production slipped in 2009 because of a shoulder issue, which limited his playing time in 2010.