VANCOUVER — Jarious Jackson does not necessarily have to be a starter once he lands another job in the Canadian Football League.
There’s nothing like a recycled quarterback in the CFL to get some chatter going, and at times it’s hard to remember that Jackson, thanks to a bad shoulder, played in parts of just two games last season for the B.C. Lions.
Jackson’s agent, Dan Vertlieb, said on Wednesday that his client is “100%” healthy right now and that “the severity of his injury was over-emphasized.”
Speculation has been that Jackson wants to start (presumably for the Argonauts or the Winnipeg Blue Bombers).
But if he is relegated to backup status, he won’t have a big problem with that.
“Now, it’s more about laying out his options,” Vertlieb said. “I do think we will make a decision fairly soon. We’re driven to find the best fit at this point in his career.
“It’s not about starting at all costs.”
Given the shoulder trouble that the 33-year-old Jackson has to prove he has left in the past, he won’t sign with any team before they are satisfied following an extensive workout. The Argos have talked to him, and if the Bombers trade Steven Jyles, Jackson could fit in Winnipeg.
The only other quarterback who was available on the free agent market was Chris Leak, who was released by the Montreal Alouettes. But he does not have the experience to be a solid backup.
This and that
Congress often involves day-long meetings centring on business initiatives and best practices, and one area general managers will tackle in the next several months is devising ways to develop the next good GM. Each GM will be asked to put together a plan for potential GMs in a league that has many unique specifics, including the management of the ratio ... Back when the CFL was cash-strapped and expenses were being cut, one casualty was a CFL coach’s dinner at the annual college football coach’s convention in the U.S., where recruiting often was done with American players. The issue of recruiting was on the agenda for general managers, and there is talk of resurrecting the dinner ... Expect the league to officially adopt a pink campaign for to help raise awareness of breast cancer. Several players last season were fined for wearing pink as part of their uniforms or not allowed to do so, and it’s an embarrassing issue the league wants to avoid ... The table might be set for some trades during the congress, but don’t be bowled over if little happens. GMs are viewing the next two-week period, one that includes the CFL draft combine in Toronto next weekend, of bigger significance. “I think that with congress and the evaluation camp, you put those two things together, and you are going to have banter happening,” Jim Barker, the Argos’ coach and GM said. “I think things are starting to heat up.” And Hamilton Tiger-Cats GM Bob O’Billovich said there will be talks, noting he laid the groundwork to acquire defensive back Jerome Dennis from the B.C. Lions during congress last year. But one player agent doesn’t believe much, if anything, will occur as the league puts its heads together during three days of meetings. “There might be some talk, but I don’t think a lot of it has any legs at this point,” the agent said. “If one trade comes out of (congress), I would be surprised.”
The celebration piece for the CFL during congress is the coach-of-the-year announcement, which comes on Friday afternoon. The favourite is Barker, with Marc Trestman of the Montreal Alouettes and Ken Miller of the Saskatchewan Roughriders the other finalists. Barker is flying in his 80-year-old mother, Nancy, from San Diego for the event ... Speaking of guys such as Jackson who have been around, Kerry Joseph could become a member of the Lions. B.C. general manager Wally Buono told radio station CKNW here that Joseph might be a fallback plan as a backup if Jackson signs somewhere else. Joseph briefly was an Edmonton Eskimo toward the end of last season, so teams apparently believe his disastrous season under Bart Andrus in Toronto in 2009 was more the coach’s fault than anything else. Which would be about right, as Andrus was terrible in every facet in his one year in the CFL ... It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of interest Jason Maas, released on Tuesday by the Eskimos, garners across the league. Observers continue to hammer away at what is seen as a lack of quarterbacking depth for the Argos, but as of right now, Barker said he does not have an interest in Maas. Of Maas’ 11 CFL seasons, nine have been with the Eskimos ... Argos star Chad Owens joined Twitter on Wednesday, and how are some of his teammates giving him lessons on how to use the social media network? Through their tweets, naturally ... General managers are being reminded that in the event of a work stoppage in the NFL, they’re not allowed to sign players under contract with NFL teams.