QB JACKSON ON TRADING BLOCK
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 10:30AM
Buono is ready to move third-stringer
By Lowell Ullrich,
Three's a charm, but it's also a crowd for the Lions with their quarterbacks.
With Dave Dickenson and Buck Pierce already under contract for the upcoming CFL season, Lions coach Wally Buono sat down Jarious Jackson in his office Monday and said he'll try to trade the third-string pivot.
It was a meeting that was equal parts fact-finding and damage control. CKNW initially reported that Jackson would be put on the market. Buono wanted to know from Jackson how he felt about the idea.
"He's open to a number of things," the coach said. "He's not in a hurry to go anywhere because he's growing as a quarterback. I just think Jarious should be better than a number three."
Proposing and actually making a deal are, however, two different exercises, especially given how the Lions fleeced some of their rivals on recent deals involving quarterbacks.
Buono struggled to get two draft picks from the Toronto Argonauts for starter Damon Allen in his first move prior to the 2003 season, but it was clear he was only warming up.
In the last two seasons, the Lions dealt away the rights to Jason Gesser and Spergon Wynn and received players who remain on their active roster who all came from deals involving first-round draft picks.
Making a deal involving Jackson even tougher is the stated preference of Buono to work only with an Eastern team.
But Jackson seemingly got a lukewarm response from the Bombers, while the Als have Marcus Brady, Nealon Greene and Jesse Palmer under contract behind starter Anthony Calvillo. That leaves the Tiger-Cats, who have held discussions with the Lions, and Toronto as likely trading partners. It's also why Buono made it clear he could still have the same three QBs he won the Grey Cup with.
As Pierce again proved in 2006, no team develops quarterbacks like the Lions. Before he came off the bench for his first CFL win last year against Hamilton, Jackson was the weapon of choice on third-down plunges. Now he's trade material.
"We're not going to hurt ourselves and we're not going to hurt him," Buono said.