The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at three questions concerning the BC Lions.
1. Will Geroy go elsewhere?
In a world where Ricky Ray, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Brett Favre can be traded, nothing should surprise me, but the idea that Geroy Simon might not be in a BC Lions uniform next season is hard to fathom (I know he played for Winnipeg, but how many remember what Simon looked like in a Blue Bomber jersey?). But Simon is coming off perhaps his worst season as a pro and is 35 years old. It is obvious that his best days are behind him and the Lions might just part ways with the CFL's all-time leading receiver. Simon has said he wants to play next season, so if he's not in a BC uniform he will be in another team in 2013.
2. Who will they lose to the NFL?
There are very few certainties in this world, but one of them is that the BC Lions will lose a player or two to the NFL in any given off-season. Cam Wake, Martell Mallett, Ricky Foley, Stefan Logan and Solomon Elimimian are just a few Lions who have tried to make the NFL. Elimimian has declined to sign a contract extension, so the belief is that he's giving the NFL another go; receiver Shawn Gore is also free agents and has expressed interest in giving the NFL another chance, he had a cup of coffee with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, as well. But the biggest loss could be that of 2012 top offensive lineman Jovon Olafioye. The Lions took a step back in 2012, losing in the West Final, but they might take an even bigger step back in the off-season if they lose one or more of their players to the NFL.
3. Are the Lions still the team to beat out west?
The Lions were the favourites to win the Grey Cup, but as the season wore on it really did seem like the power shifted from BC to Calgary. When Calgary beat BC to get to the Grey Cup it didn't really surprise a lot of people, even though BC lost at home for just the second time since BC Place was renovated. It just seemed like the magic that the Lions had in their run to the championship in 2011 was missing. Now the Lions have to deal with a Calgary team that will enter 2013 with revenge in their hearts and a Saskatchewan team that will hope to build on their surprising 9-9 campaign in 2012. The Lions could be third in the pecking order in the West in 2013. But they are still a good team, plus they'll be better than Edmonton, so a playoff spot is not a concern. But they no longer look like the class of the West like they did just a few months ago.