Brady to get his shot

Tiger-Cats quarterback Marcus Brady may pressure Danny McManus for the starting job in Hamilton....

Tiger-Cats quarterback Marcus Brady may pressure Danny McManus for the starting job in Hamilton. (Toronto Sun File/David Lucas)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

After trading for Marcus Brady last year and using him primarily as a backup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may be ready to give him a shot to be the starter.

In fact, the Tiger-Cats think highly enough of Brady that they won't bid on Khari Jones when the 33-year-old quarterback clears waivers today after half a season in Calgary. The Stamps waived him a week ago after signing free-agent quarterback Henry Burris.

TAKING A PASS

Hamilton general manager Ron Lancaster said yesterday his team won't have any interest in Jones, because of his age -- particularly when the team already has 39-year-old Danny McManus -- and to give the 25-year-old Brady a shot to compete for the starting job.

"I think I'd rather see what Marcus can do before we start messing with someone like that," Lancaster said. "I just think we need younger quarterbacks right now."

Lancaster said salary concerns might have something to do with the Tiger-Cats' thinking, although he felt it might be a "step back" to bring in Jones.

Lancaster couldn't say for certain how much playing time Brady will receive this year. Because he was acquired from Toronto after the pre-season last year, Brady had to learn on the run. He moved up from third-stringer to backup but didn't play much the entire year, even though rookie head coach Greg Marshall talked about the need to use him more.

Lancaster said Marshall, who is currently evaluating players at the NFL Europe training camp in Florida, and offensive co-ordinator Jamie Barresi are currently deciding whether or not to make McManus the undisputed starter in training camp or make it a true competition with Brady and give him equal quality reps.

"That's something they're going to have to make their decision on before they get to camp," he said. "I don't think they want to mess around once they get there."

Jones, meanwhile, may end up in Edmonton as insurance for Jason Maas, who played through some injuries last year.

Saskatchewan might have had an interest in Jones, but the Roughriders are on the verge of signing Marcus Crandell, who lost his starting job last year when Calgary acquired Jones in a trade with the Blue Bombers.

Jones' market value has declined significantly from when he was voted the Most Outstanding Player in the league in 2001 with Winnipeg. He received $350,000 last year, but might only get a third of that now.

HEPPELL RETIRES

A tearful Bruno Heppell waved goodbye to an eight-year CFL career yesterday when the Montreal Alouettes fullback announced his retirement.

Heppell would have been unable to start training camp because of a lingering hamstring injury, the latest of a list of ailments that hampered his career.

LIONS SIGN ELEWONIBI

Moe Elewonibi is back with the B.C. Lions.

B.C. signed the 6-foot-4, 286-pound offensive lineman after he was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers earlier this week.

BRIEFLY

The Calgary Stampeders signed former NFL receiver MarTay Jenkins ... The Blue Bombers signed cornerback William Fields.


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