Good articale to read. Berry may have wanted Milt out too.
Stegall shopped to Lions?
Lowell Ullrich, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, September 03, 2008
VANCOUVER -- B.C. Lions general manager Wally Buono traded running back Joe Smith to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for running back Charles Roberts because he was determined to get something in return rather than cutting the CFL's leading rusher last year.
Here's an intriguing notion though: What if it was Milt Stegall coming to the Lions as opposed to Roberts?
That was the unconfirmed back-channel talk in quiet corners around the league when the Smith trade talks began a few weeks ago after it had become apparent the Lions no longer found him useful. Buono first went after Romby Bryant, a 28-year-old Winnipeg receiver who quickly picked up the Bombers offence in his first CFL season, but that went nowhere.
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Font:****The counter-offer by Bombers general manager Brendan Taman, though it will surely be denied everywhere now that the Roberts deal is done, is that he offered Stegall instead to the Lions.
It's been clear for some time that one of the Lions' weak spots is depth at import receiver, even though Buono might successfully argue that Rufus Skillern and injured Clarence Coleman are making some strides.
Stegall obviously would have helped even though he only plays in games anymore and doesn't practice. So would Terrence Edwards, Bryant or Derick Armstrong, one of the Bombers' other import pass-catchers.
However Taman, who has done more deals with Buono than any other GM in the league, knew the Lions had to get something for Smith and gave him a player he didn't really need.
Buono admitted after making the deal he was starting to grow weary of waiting to get a starter in exchange for Smith and took Roberts within hours after he was offered Sunday night.
And he admitted he might take a slightly-different approach in future with players seeking large signing-bonus advances. Smith had $90,000 of the three-year deal he signed this spring paid up front, further making a trade paramount.
Obviously, it's a trade that doesn't make a lot of sense on a lot of levels, but at least is far better than Buono's usual process of simply cutting a player or acquiring a draft pick for someone no longer in his plans.