Money on Printers

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Barrin Simpson is already looking forward to next Sunday afternoon.

"I told Casey when we ever get a chance to play again I'm going to get him!" Simpson said yesterday with a laugh.

Simpson's Winnipeg Blue Bombers travel to Hamilton next weekend to take on the Tiger-Cats, who got a whole lot better yesterday with the signing of free-agent quarterback Casey Printers.

The four-year deal, which includes an option year for 2010, is reportedly worth $1.6 million. That includes a $250,000 signing bonus, which the toothless Tabbies were able to offer because they had plenty of room under this year's salary cap.

"You better get your popcorn ready," Printers said at his introductory press conference. "This is wan exciting game, and I think my abilities are as such as that I like to be exciting and break tackles, run over here and run over there and throw down field and do all those great things fans like to see.

"Hopefully those things are accepted in this community and we can win some games. That's what I'm all about."

Printers, 26, won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award in 2004 as a member of the B.C. Lions, and one of his teammates in Vancouver was Simpson, who is now the Bombers' middle linebacker.

Simpson said the Ticats are contenders with Printers at the helm -- just not right now. At 1-8, they will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.

"They'll have to win out pretty much," Simpson said. "That's going to be tough. ... But they got scarier, definitely. They became better that quick."

If the Bombers don't see Printers next Sunday in Steeltown, they will most definitely go up against him on Sept. 29 when the Ticats pay a visit to Canad Inns Stadium.

Winnipeg inquired about Printers, who was cut last week by the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, but it was never really in the running. Montreal and Toronto were the other serious suitors, and Printers was even on his way to visit the Alouettes on Wednesday night when the Ticats apparently upped the ante.

"It's not surprising," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said. "He went to the place that probably everybody thought he should go to and would go to."

Taman had trade talks yesterday with Ticats GM Marcel Desjardins about former Hamilton starter Jason Maas, but the Bombers pulled out of the running last night when the asking price became too high.

The Hamilton Specator was reporting last night that Maas has been traded to Montreal for Canadian fullback Jeff Piercy.

Bombers head coach Doug Berry said while Printers makes the Ticats a tougher team immediately, any success they might enjoy won't come overnight.

"With his athletic ability he's going to bring something to the table right then and there," Berry said. "How quickly he can contribute to what they want to do and then offer his own suggestions as to what he feels his strengths are ... then you kind of build an offence with all of that."

An interested observer of yesterday's signing had to be Winnipeg quarterback Kevin Glenn. Considering the quarterback pay scale just went up significantly and Glenn is arguably on his way to being named the league's MOP this season, he will have some hefty numbers to point at when it comes time to renegotiate.

"Yeah, that kind of stuff helps quarterbacks," Glenn said. "That's the nature of the game. It's good that it sometimes goes in favour of the players."


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