Jim Barker has done a good job since taking over the Argos.
He won coach of the year.
He's a far better coach than the guy he replaced.
He's a better GM than the guy he replaced, when you look at the talent he has brought in.
But. . . he's not perfect. I think his trade to acquire Jyles should attract some legitimate criticism.
Not knocking Jyles mind you (although I am no Jyles fan).
But the fact remains he's damaged goods; he may start the season on the 9 game injured list:
Regardless of who starts on July 1 in Calgary, it’s clear that Jyles won’t be in the picture for some time. Jyles was throwing short passes with his surgically repaired shoulder for a while, but is no longer doing even that much. Barker said he’s considering putting Jyles on the nine-game injured list to ensure that his shoulder is healthy.
Now, compare this to what Montreal did. They wanted more of a pass rush, so they signed Kitwana Jones. But before doing that, they traded with Calgary to acquire Mike Labinjo. Jim Popp, smartly, had a clause in the deal that Labinjo had to pass a medical; he didn't, and the trade was cancelled.. . so then they went to plan b and got Jones.
The fact that Jyles had a serious shoulder injury late last season was no secret. That he was in rehab for it and wasn't ready for action when the trade went down was also no secret. Now it looks like he won't see action until half way through the season.
So, why in the world would Jim Barker trade a first round draft pick to Winnipeg to get a guy without insisting that he pass a medical as a condition of the deal? ? ?
Many trades are made without such conditions. . . but when you know the player you want had a serious shoulder injury and missed the balance of the last season, and was in rehab, prudence would dictate that you insist on a medical before committing yourself.
Barker obviously didn't, and for that he deserves some criticism.
Now that Bell is apparently on the limp (same article linked above), Lemon is the starter again, this time by default. Barker better hope his brave words about how Lemon has improved are true and not just training camp propaganda.
I've always liked Jim Barker. . . and I still do.
But he gets a failing grade from me on this particular trade. Not sure about the other one yet, but he just released P.K. Sam and Calgary so far is hanging on to Reggie McNeal, so he may end up the loser on that trade as well.