December 10, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
IT has taken Kyle Walters just over one month to make the move GM Joe Mack was unwilling to make: Buck Pierce is no longer a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Walters swung a trade Sunday, sending the veteran QB to the B.C. Lions in exchange for non-import receiver Akeem Foster.
Pierce returns to the Lions, where four years ago he was cut adrift by GM Wally Buono, who deemed the oft-injured Pierce unreliable.
"Buck has been a true warrior and a consummate professional during his time Winnipeg and we sincerely thank him for his four years of service to our organization," said Walters, the Bombers acting general manager. "In Akeem, we are getting a veteran Canadian receiver who, at age 26, is still entering the prime of his career. His presence immediately helps upgrade our non-import talent on our roster."
Born in Ajax, Ont., Foster is a big target at 6-4 and 212 pounds. Selected by the Lions in the fourth round (24th overall) of the 2010 CFL Draft, Foster has recorded 61 receptions for 949 yards and nine touchdowns in 43 starts. He won a Grey Cup championship with the Lions in 2011, catching one pass for 12 yards.
Pierce signed with the Blue Bombers in April of 2010 and made 32 starts over four seasons, completing 486 passes for 6,320 yards and 25 touchdowns against 31 interceptions. The highlight of his time in Winnipeg was guiding the Bombers to the 2011 Grey Cup, where they lost to the Lions.
But his time with the Bombers -- like his time with the Lions -- was plagued by a maddening inability to stay healthy. A dislocated elbow cost him the second half of the 2010 season and then after a 2011 season that saw him start 16 games, he started just seven games in 2012 and just 4 games in 2013.
In all, Pierce started 32 games over four seasons in Winnipeg and finished just 20 games.
Neither Pierce nor Walters was available Sunday night, but the club is making both men available at a news conference this morning.
The Lions cut former Bombers backup QB Joey Elliott last week and were looking for some depth at the position.
"We are heading into a critical part of our schedule and we need to improve significantly as a football team," said VP of football operations and GM Buono. "Buck is a proven veteran quarterback, an accomplished starter and a leader who has taken his teams into the playoffs and to a championship game..."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 9, 2013 C3
Updated on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM CDT:
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