Argos, Lions talk QB swap
Officials with the Argonauts and the B.C. Lions are discussing the possibility of a blockbuster trade.
According to a CFL management source who feels certain Toronto and B.C. execs would publicly deny their talks "until they're blue in the face or until their deal is done," veteran quarterbacks Damon Allen and Dave Dickenson could be the key figures in the potential swap.
The deal would come to fruition, the source said, only if Casey Printers does not jump to the NFL, something he is eligible to do this off-season.
If Printers bolts, the source said, Dickenson would remain in B.C. If Printers stays, though, "the Lions now are willing to make him their No. 1 guy, uncontested, and Dave would be traded for a package."
That package, the source said, could include Allen, chosen the CFL's outstanding player for 2005.
"Damon's getting older (42) and the Argos have always wanted Dickenson, who's years younger and a former MVP himself," the source said. "Damon would be a backup and a tutor for Printers, just as (recently acquired) Danny McManus will now be to Ricky Ray in Edmonton. It's sensible because, while Printers was the league's top player (in 2004), he still has a lot to learn and Damon can teach him. Dickenson, on the other hand, has been in a cold war with Printers for too long."
â€¢ There's also a rumbling that the Argos could ask Allen to replace Kent Austin as offensive co-ordinator if the latter gets his wish and is hired as head coach in Winnipeg. Allen might even double as a player-coach ... The most coveted CFL player by NFL clubs this off-season is Jon Ryan, who already has received an offer from Winnipeg that sources say would make him the highest-paid punter in CFL history. Still, his agent, Gil Scott, will explore the NFL.
Scott, by the way, also represents Austin, so re-signing Ryan with Winnipeg might give Austin the edge he needs over Saskatchewan defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall in the Blue Bombers' coaching derby ... There's an interesting petition posted online that lobbies for the acceptance of Canadian quarterbacks in the CFL and will be sent to commish Tom Wright et al. Check out www.petitiononline.com/cflqb/.