Let’s make a deal

Quarterback Buck Pierce is the kind of player who could turn the Bombers’ fortunes around. (TODD...

Quarterback Buck Pierce is the kind of player who could turn the Bombers’ fortunes around. (TODD KOROL/Reuters files)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:57 PM ET

It’s about this supposed huge gap between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and free agent quarterback Buck Pierce.

Bomber GM Joe Mack tells us the two sides aren’t in the same ballpark.

Well, six words from Pierce lead me to believe a deal between these two can get done.

“I want to be in Winnipeg,” Pierce told the Winnipeg Sun from Los Angeles, Friday.

There you have it.

Forget the posturing between Mack and Pierce’s agent, Brian Cox.

The man himself wants to be here, which has to warm the hearts of Bomber fans starved for a bona fide, No. 1 quarterback.

“I want this thing to work,” Pierce said. “If both parties are willing to make that happen, then I don’t see why it can’t happen.”

Surely, the Bombers are willing.

How often does a 28-year-old, free agent quarterback who’s a proven winner and respected leader fall in your lap like this?

He’s asking for too much money, you say? Hold your horses.

Listening to Pierce, you get a different feeling than you get from his agent, who has said Pierce would like a chance to earn close to the reported $300,000 he was paid in B.C. last season.

After spending 10 minutes on the phone with Pierce, the last word I’d use to describe him is unreasonable.

His agent, Brian Cox, might like to throw the odd fastball, high, hard and inside. That’s his job, after all.

But Pierce himself is about as reasonable and down-to-earth as you can get.

“It isn’t a money thing,” Pierce said. “I’m as old-school and as simple as it gets. I’m fine with going out and proving myself again.

“If I am the guy out there, I want to be compensated like that. But I do understand the circumstances out there. I really want it to work for everybody. That’s what needs to be addressed instead of causing a rift between the two parties involved.”

I got the impression Pierce wanted to smooth things over before anybody gets too entrenched in their positions.

That’s how badly he wants to be a Bomber.

“It’s exciting for me ... and a good fit,” he said. “They have a lot of good things going on.”

Pierce is convinced he’d feel right at home, here, too. Despite the fact he’s taken his share of abuse from east-side fans.

“I’m a midwest guy. Born and raised out in western Kansas. And I know how they love their football up there. The city is always abuzz when we would play there.

“It’s my kind of people up there.”

And Pierce is Winnipeg’s kind of quarterback.

Blue-collar. Unassuming. And tough — despite his reputation as being injury-prone.

Yeah, he’s been hurt more than some quarterbacks. Because he has less fear than most. I’m sure head coach Paul LaPolice could reel him in a little.

For the record, Pierce says he’s been diagnosed with one concussion in his career, and that was last season. A hit the year before may or may not have resulted in another.

So when people like me repeat reports he’s had five, it bugs him.

“Once that comes out, you’re kind of framed as that,” Pierce said. “Throughout all sports, it’s kind of a hot topic. Every chance you get, you try and explain your side of things.”

The bottom line on Pierce’s side: a 21-12-1 record as a starter, with 48 TD passes, 31 interceptions and a career completion rate of 65%.

“I am very excited about the possibilities of where this could go,” Pierce said. “For me in my career right now and what I’m wanting to do, and that’s having a chance to lead a team to a championship. ... money’s probably one of the last things I really look at. You never know how many more seasons you’re going to get. I want to be a part of something that’s on the way up.”

Pierce could help make that happen.

It’s your move, Joe Mack.


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