Sunday 11 April 2010

A Call to Arms

It's another slow weekend as far as CFL news is concerned. Perhaps with the draft a mere three weeks away, teams are no longer solely focusing on the players that remain unsigned. This brings me to three former starting QBs who still do not have a home for 2010.

We've heard as recently as this week that the Blue Bombers and Buck Pierce have been talking contract. The Bombers made an offer, and Pierce's agent allegedly made a counter offer. That was Wednesday. It's Sunday and no deal has been reached. Maybe Pierce is headed to Winnipeg and maybe he's not, but this got me thinking about two other QBs who are still on the market: Kerry Joseph and Michael Bishop.

I know both players are no longer spring chickens (Joseph is 36; Bishop is 33), and neither player looked particularly effective the last time they were on the field (Joseph was mired in an unwinnable situation in Toronto, Bishop was throwing TDs to Ti-Cat defenders), but how, in a league that needs strong-armed QBs, do guys with laser arms like Joseph and Bishop remain unsigned? Not three years ago I watched both these players put on a display at the 2007 Damon Allen Quarterback Challenge that still makes me shake my head. Joseph launched a ball over 80 yards. That feat still boggles my mind. Here are Joseph's highlights from that day in Hamilton. I couldn't find any videos of Michael Bishop, unfortunately.

These guys have cannons for arms, and in a league that prides itself on the passing game, players with skills like these should be able to find work. I understand that skills competitions are not what make or break players' careers, but with raw talent like that, and proven track records, these guys should both be employed by some CFL team. Now, perhaps both players are asking for too much money, or they are making other unreasonable demands. Perhaps teams just see older QBs with nothing left in the tank. Perhaps it's just supply and demand. With really only two teams needing QBs (Toronto, which was Joseph's last team, and Winnipeg, which was Bishop's last team) perhaps the market just isn't there for either player's services.

So what could be the possible outcome for these two guys? Maybe, like Bishop and Casey Printers last season, both will be parachuted in when teams inevitably get injuries or have ineffective play at the QB position.

One thing is for sure, unless something catastrophic occurs, neither player will be wearing the Black & Gold in 2010. That said, someone's going to take in one of these two guys, no? One is a former MOP (Joseph), and the other led his team (Toronto) to an East Division Final (Bishop). Maybe they won't be in any team's training camp, but one has to think they will be on a team's roster at some point in 2010.

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