Wednesday 13 October 2010

Is this the End for Casey Printers?

It looks like this could be the end of the line for Casey Printers. On Wednesday, Printers was released by the BC Lions.

Back in 2004, Casey Printers could do no wrong. Over 5,000 yards passing, 44 total touchdowns and he was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player. Yet his season ended oddly when the day after winning the MOP award, he was benched in favour of Dave Dickenson when the BC Lions lost the Grey Cup to the Toronto Argonauts.

The following year Printers played sparingly in 2005, but the 2004 season was still fresh in people's minds. His talent was undeniable, and if BC wasn't going to utilize it, someone else would.

Printers hoped that person would be Herm Edwards. Following the 2005 season, Printers left the CFL and signed with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. He sat on the bench and was never given a chance to start for the Chiefs. He was released during the final cutdown in 2007. Printers was now available to the highest bidder. That bidder came from Southern Ontario.

After a fierce bidding war, Printers signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats just prior to Labour Day in 2007. Optimism was in the air, but with hindsight it looks like his tenure in Steeltown was the beginning of the end. To put it bluntly, Printers was terrible in Hamilton. During his one and a half years with the Tiger-Cats, Printers threw only six touchdown passes, and the Cats only won five games while Printers was a member of the team. In early 2009, Printers was released by Hamilton.

Out of football for months, Printers was, once again, a BC Lion. After a marvelous performance against the Tiger-Cats in the East Division Semi-Final, many thought Printers was about to get back to being the player that dominated the CFL in 2004.

Printers showed flashes of brilliance in 2010, but he was nowhere near the player he was during his first stint with the Lions. Two weeks ago, Printers was benched in favour Travis Lulay. On Wednesday, Printers was released.

It is hard to believe that Casey Printers may be done. He's only 29, and he should be hitting his prime. But it looks like Printers will be joining Kerry Joseph and Michael Bishop as big-name QBs who are no longer a part of any CFL team's plan.

Say whatever you want of Casey Printers on a personal level. Many have called him arrogant, selfish and not a team player. All of those things may be true. But he's also a darn good football player... or at least we all thought so. That 2004 season was a thing of beauty. No one can take that away.

While this may be the end of the line for Casey Printers, one never knows. Toronto is still looking to find a capable QB, so maybe Printers ends up in the Big Smoke. Anything can happen in the CFL. But when I heard the news that Printers had been released, my initial reaction was that this was it. It just has that feel to it.

In my opinion, I think we have seen the last of Casey Printers on a CFL roster.

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