Signing ex-Lion Jackson risky business

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:22 PM ET

TORONTO - Argos' Jim Barker is doing his due diligence with free-agent quarterback Jarious Jackson.

The two sides are speaking to each other, but if it comes to a point where Jackson, formerly of the B.C. Lions, joins the Argonauts, he will have to pass a physical.

“I have a ton of respect for Jarious as a player, but at this point, we’re just talking,” Barker, the Argos’ general manager and head coach, said. “It’s hard to evaluate a player who has not played in year and a half.”

A shoulder injury limited Jackson to two games with the Lions last year. Barker said that if the Argos decide to sign Jackson, it will be done much earlier than the eve of training camp in June. And you can bet Jackson will work out for the Argos if Toronto’s interest gets to that point.

Wes Lysack, meanwhile, is not joining the Argos to be just a solid contributor on special teams.

The Argos officially announced on Friday the signing of Lysack, a free safety who will be in tough to knock Willie Pile from that position in training camp.

“If I didn’t think I had a chance to play on defence, I wouldn’t have signed,” Lysack said. “But as a player, you do what you are told to do by your coaches.”

Barker stressed that Pile is his free safety and “Wes knows that.” Barker drafted Lysack for the Calgary Stampeders in 2003, and there’s a genuine respect between the two. Lysack said there is no other person to whom he is closer in the Canadian Football League than Barker.

The Argos on Friday also re-signed offensive lineman Jeff Keeping and signed two imports — wide receiver Jerome Hewitt and cornerback Durrell Oliver. The re-signing of Keeping leaves defensive tackle Adriano Belli as the lone Argos free agent. Belli is leaning toward returning to Toronto.


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