Thursday, January 24, 2013
SIMON SAYS: TRADE ME TO THE RIDERS!
On Wednesday word came down that the B.C. Lions have placed Simon on the trading block and he's free to find another CFL team who's willing to pick up his current large salary via trade. After initially saying they weren't interested, the Saskatchewan Roughriders apparently changed their tune.
Late Wednesday night Simon's Vancouver-based agent Dan Vertlieb was contacted by Saskatchewan and I'm told things proceeded rapidly. It would seem that a trade-and-sign deal is imminent, whereby the Maryland product would in fact become a Saskatchewan Roughrider at a much-reduced cost.
As for the Lions, they would be able to get something for Simon in a trade rather than cutting him free. The only reason he's on the market at all is because of Lions' GM Wally Buono's reluctance to pay him what his contract says. And given what Simon's done for the B.C. franchise, Buono doesn't want to outright release him (see Jason Clermont).
"I understand all this, which is why I'm not annoyed or angered by it," Buono told the Canadian Press. "We're trying to resolve this and if we can, great, because I think it's an advantage to everybody to resolve it but what I'm saying today is the status quo cannot be.
"In fairness to any veteran player, their time comes and the question is when is that time? Our job, unfortunately, is to look into the crystal ball, make a decision not based on what you know but what you're observing."
Simon's CFL career began in 1999 when he was recruited to Winnipeg by then-Blue Bomber assistant GM Brendan Taman. Over the next 14 seasons Simon would go on to catch more yards than any other receiver in CFL history.
"This is all being done out of utmost respect for Geroy the football player, Geroy the person and Geroy the personality," Buono said. "I would be a real jerk if I didn't do it this way.
"In my past I've not handled it this way but to me these are special circumstances."
What's in it for Geroy? I mean if he's going to take a paycut to play, why not just stay in B.C.? Well this way Simon wouldn't have to swallow the humiliation of staying with the Lions after taking a paycut, and he could finish his illustrious career in the heart of the CFL with the Riders and get a chance to play in the 2013 Grey Cup at a Roughrider at Mosaic Stadium.
It's win-win for everybody, and Simon likely wouldn't consider such a scenario with any other CFL team.