B.C. Lions GM Wally Buono said last night he has talked with Matt Dunigan about the availability of defensive lineman Joe Fleming. The 2003 defensive player of the year, a free agent after this season, has been mentioned in trade rumours involving Winnipeg, B.C. and Toronto. "We talked about another issue and he brought up Joe's name," Buono said about a Monday phone conversation with Dunigan, Stamps GM-head coach. "He knew from the last time (in the off-season) that we liked Joe, so he asked if we are still interested."
One possible scenario has Buono, who coached Fleming to a Grey Cup with the Stamps in 2001, parting with third-string quarterback Spurgon Wynn.
Buono said no Lions players were mentioned during what he described as "casual conversations," adding quarterbacks Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers will remain with B.C. at least through the 2005 season.
Dunigan insisted after yesterday's practice he isn't shopping Fleming but understands his value for playoff-bound teams.
"It makes sense to try to do something of that nature when a guy's in his option year and there's a lot of teams around the league that would like a lot of our players' services," said Dunigan, adding he not only plans to keep Fleming but re-sign him.
Fleming, 32, is an eight-year CFL veteran and will become a free agent Feb. 15.
"I haven't heard from anybody in any organization, including the Stamps," Fleming said.