It seems like every week there is a new rumour regarding the Quarterback situation in Hamilton. The latest one has Dave Naylor saying that the Edmonton Eskimos might be amenable to dealing two-time Grey Cup champion Ricky Ray (thanks to Drew Edwards for the link to the audio), and that Hamilton is one of two likely landing spots (the other being, of course, Toronto).
On the surface, this would a great move. Ray is one of the best Quarterbacks in the CFL, and adding a player of his calibre would be something even staunch Kevin Glenn supporters (such as myself) could stomach and even support. Ray is a better Quarterback than Glenn, but Ray is a better Quarterback than pretty much everyone not named Anthony Calvillo. Ray is also younger than Glenn, and while he hasn't been as effective the last few season, Ray still has all the tools to get it done.
But that doesn't mean trading for Ray is slam dunk. There are some concerns that need to be addressed.
For starters, with someone with an astute an eye as Eskimos General Manager Eric Tillman, it seems fishy that he would trade an All-Star-level Quarterback a year after making it to the West Division Final. Does Tillman know something about Ray that the rest of the league's General Managers do not? Tillman rarely loses when it comes to trading players, so if he's willing to deal Ray, there has to be a reason.
Secondly, Edmonton would probably want something significant in return; this won't be a great player changing teams for a measly third-round draft choice. Hamilton would have to part with something of value, and I'm sure one would be a Quarterback (either Glenn or Quinton Porter), but the Eskimos will want something else as well. Depending on what Edmonton wants, the price may be too steep for a beaten-up, albeit still very effective, Ricky Ray.
With all the rumours that have surfaced since the season ended concerning the Hamilton Quarterback situation, this one is the most palatable. Ray is an upgrade, and the same cannot be said definitively about Henry Burris (the other Alberta-based QB rumoured to be headed to Steeltown). If Ray is traded to Hamilton, it would likely receive near-universal support from Tiger-Cat fans.
This is a story worth keeping an eye on. Should Hamilton get Ray, and not give too much to Edmonton in return, that could be the move that takes the Ti-Cats from East Division Final participant to Grey Cup winner.