The Ricky Ray Game, June 30, 2012

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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby B.C.FAN » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:24 pm

ziggy wrote:Assuming the previously posted salary of 400k for Ray this year is correct and Jyles makes 250k then I'd say the savings is only 150k. On top of that if Joseph is also on the payroll as an emergency backup and not making rookie coin you need to subtract that from the 150k. Gets you pretty close to 100k that only results in a fine and face it Edmonton is a wealthy club and Tillman as a former Rider GM wouldn't have a problem going over the cap. I don't believe its a money issue.

I don't think Jyles is making anywhere near $250,000. He got $75,000 up front from the Argos, which applies to their 2011 cap and lessens the cap hit for Edmonton. I'd be surprised if his base salary is more than $200,000.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby ziggy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:57 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
ziggy wrote:Assuming the previously posted salary of 400k for Ray this year is correct and Jyles makes 250k then I'd say the savings is only 150k. On top of that if Joseph is also on the payroll as an emergency backup and not making rookie coin you need to subtract that from the 150k. Gets you pretty close to 100k that only results in a fine and face it Edmonton is a wealthy club and Tillman as a former Rider GM wouldn't have a problem going over the cap. I don't believe its a money issue.

I don't think Jyles is making anywhere near $250,000. He got $75,000 up front from the Argos, which applies to their 2011 cap and lessens the cap hit for Edmonton. I'd be surprised if his base salary is more than $200,000.


This according to TSN http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=381628. Maybe I 'm misreading it?
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby B.C.FAN » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:12 pm

ziggy wrote:
B.C.FAN wrote:
ziggy wrote:Assuming the previously posted salary of 400k for Ray this year is correct and Jyles makes 250k then I'd say the savings is only 150k. On top of that if Joseph is also on the payroll as an emergency backup and not making rookie coin you need to subtract that from the 150k. Gets you pretty close to 100k that only results in a fine and face it Edmonton is a wealthy club and Tillman as a former Rider GM wouldn't have a problem going over the cap. I don't believe its a money issue.

I don't think Jyles is making anywhere near $250,000. He got $75,000 up front from the Argos, which applies to their 2011 cap and lessens the cap hit for Edmonton. I'd be surprised if his base salary is more than $200,000.


This according to TSN http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=381628. Maybe I 'm misreading it?

Yeah. I never believe that kind of spin. "Could pay him up to $250,000 per season" means if he hits all his incentives for starts, all-star selections, throwing for 5,000 yards or whatever else is thrown in. An unproven starter with a questionable injury history will often get a lower base salary and a number of incentives.

Buck Pierce's contract this year was reported to have a base salary of around $125,000, topping out near $200,000 if he hit all his incentives.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby ziggy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:20 pm

Yeah I agree, unless you see the contract, who knows, for example the Globe and Mail reports Rays salary at 350k as opposed to 400 k, so it works both ways. Fact is no one knows how much of either players salary is guaranteed and how much is bonuses. The point I was making though is this is not a huge salary dump.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby ziggy » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:49 pm

JohnHenry wrote:Contrary to the TSN article, in other media Jyles base salary was reported as $150k or $175k next season, which includes his $75k signing bonus (applied to Argos 2011 Cap). Buck Pierce doesn't make $200k, why would the Argos pay Jyles $250k especially when Barker admitted were planning to bring in another QB? That supposed $250k (likely sourced by his agent) is what he "could" make, if he achieved all incentives (MOP, All-Star, Wins, Starts, etc)...not to be confused with Ricky Rays base salary of about $400k, down from his $515k base in 2010. Ray could also make much more by reaching his incentives.

I think the "$200,000" saving for the Esks was the difference in the combined salaries of the 3 Argo players compared to Ray's salary ($100k for Jyles, $50k for the kicker, $50k for the 1st rounder).

I haven't seen those other reports of 150 or 175 and you may be right, I just googled his salary and thats what I got. As for why the Argos would pay 250 when Pierce only gets 200? C'mon JH its the Argos :beer:
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Blitz » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:33 pm

I'd have made this trade if I was Tillman. They get a younger mobile quarterback with upside and sure they are taking a chance but they also have not got it done with Ray for a few seasons now. They really need a kicker and the guy they are getting is going to be very good for a long time. They get a high Canadian draft choice and Tillman knows that you build a winner through the draft and they get some SMS cap room.

I'm not sure you are so vehemently opposoed to this trade WCJ. Ricky Ray has some great stats but he also has some weaknesses. Heck, for all the talk about his ability in the playoffs it was Jason Maas who knocked us out of the 2005 Grey Cup game when he came in to replace a struggling Ricky Ray. Its not as if Ricky Ray has been leading Edmonton to the Grey Cup in recent seasons. Edmonton really was hurt by Prefontaine's kicking this season. Tillman has turned Edmonton around big time and I would have preferred to have Ricky Ray in Edmonton next season and this trade not happen, in terms of what is best for our B.C. Lions.

Of course Barker needs an experienced quarterback to get Toronto out of the cellar but Edmonton is trying to take the next step and obviously they think they can do that with a more mobile quarterback. Ray got sacked the most number of time in the league last season and he's a dump off quarterback when he's under pressure who doesn't put fear into opposing defenses.

Be interesting to discuss this topic again a year from now.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Sir Purrcival » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:58 pm

While I agree with you Blitz that long term, this may have upside if all the domino's line up correctly, there is no assurance that they will. In the mean time, after a number of years of poor play and missed playoffs, they finally become competitive again and there is reason for fans to be eager for the next season. Then bang, off goes this trade and rather than fans being optimistic about the next year, many of them are now quietly worried and some not so quietly. Even with his weaknesses, Ricky Ray is head and tails better that Steven Jyles. Whats more, in trading away Ray, you have lost that mentor to the other QB's in their stable right now. I'm not sold on Jyles. 3 teams have passed him on including the Esks already. While mobile, he doesn't seem that accurate with his passing and he has certainly been around the league long enough to fine tune that a bit.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby joe kapp22 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:16 pm

Let's be honest fellas, Ricky Ray is not the first star traded in what looks like a bad deal, that is the nature of the sports business.

I do think it is laughable that "Oh, Barker kept calling!" as some sort of excuse, the phone hangs up.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby WestCoastJoe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:54 pm

Blitz wrote:I'd have made this trade if I was Tillman. They get a younger mobile quarterback with upside and sure they are taking a chance but they also have not got it done with Ray for a few seasons now. They really need a kicker and the guy they are getting is going to be very good for a long time. They get a high Canadian draft choice and Tillman knows that you build a winner through the draft and they get some SMS cap room.


Jyles "upside" is mostly wishing and hoping right now. IMO he is not the key to this trade. Shaw was found unreliable in his first kick at it in Toronto, not proven at this point. A high first round pick is always nice to have, but the bits and pieces Edmonton gets do not amount to much IMO. The adage goes: the winner of a trade is the team that gets the best player. Yes the Eskimos are taking a chance, a huge, unnecessary, poor odds, gamble. The dice are cast.

I'm not sure you are so vehemently opposoed to this trade WCJ. Ricky Ray has some great stats but he also has some weaknesses. Heck, for all the talk about his ability in the playoffs it was Jason Maas who knocked us out of the 2005 Grey Cup game when he came in to replace a struggling Ricky Ray. Its not as if Ricky Ray has been leading Edmonton to the Grey Cup in recent seasons. Edmonton really was hurt by Prefontaine's kicking this season. Tillman has turned Edmonton around big time and I would have preferred to have Ricky Ray in Edmonton next season and this trade not happen, in terms of what is best for our B.C. Lions.


Well, Blitz, you and I have seen many, many football issues the same way. :thup: But, not this time. As I've said a number of times, many fans are left cold by Ricky Ray. Tillman obviously sees it that way too. In the biggest game in the CFL, the Grey Cup, RR has had ice water in his veins, twice. He has shot lights out. He has tops, second or third best passing stats in CFL history, all time. IMO he is mobile. He calms his team down. He inspires his receivers.

But none of that will make some fans like his style, or his achievements. What really sells me is more of an intuitive, hunch kind of thing. It reminds me of a debate former great NFL running backs were having about who was the best ever. Was it Jim Brown? Walter Payton? Et cetera. Finally O.J. Simpson said: "It was Sayers. Gale Sayers. All you had to do was watch him play. And you knew."

So my judgment about Ricky Ray goes beyond his phenomenal stats. I think he is the best touch passer in league history. And IMO he can throw deep too. Corners especially. But also posts. And not only that, but if you don't spy him, he can eat up major yardage scrambling. As a GM, Tillman will have to catch lightning in a bottle to replace all that he brings to a team. He could radically transform the Argos' offence. IMO Barker and Milanovich are right to be excited about their prospects. He is an aircraft carrier, the second best QB in the league, after Travis Lulay. Build a team around him, and you have a contender for the Cup.

Of course Barker needs an experienced quarterback to get Toronto out of the cellar but Edmonton is trying to take the next step and obviously they think they can do that with a more mobile quarterback. Ray got sacked the most number of time in the league last season and he's a dump off quarterback when he's under pressure who doesn't put fear into opposing defenses.


IMO Edmonton's best chance to take the next step was to build around Ricky Ray, not to jettison him for inadequate compensation. Ray getting sacked was certainly not his fault. And he is much, much more than a dump off quarterback. And IMO he does put fear into opposing DCs. If a DC does not game plan well against him, he can light up their defence.

We know what Edmonton gets in the deal: Jyles, something of a known commodity (six years in the CFL, age 29, on his fifth team, Edmonton twice), not guaranteed to be starter. An unproven kicker, who was subbed out for part of the year. And a high draft pick, that could be boom or bust. To me, that is inadequate return on the trade, for a rare level, Hall of Fame quarterback, at 32 years of age, who has almost always avoided injury, who inspires receivers, inspires a new GM (Barker) and a new coach (Milanovich), and probably inspired Kavis Reed as well, along with all those Edmonton receivers.

The deal is done. It's obvious I feel Tillman sold the farm to a city slicker. But it was Tillman's own decision process that allowed it to happen. For one of the few times, Tillman outsmarted himself, and the persistent Barker was very, very happy to keep pushing until it was done. At this time, IMO it is a steal for the Argos. They get the Lamborghini. The Schmos get spare parts, some wishes and hopes.

Kent Austin, when asked to evalutate Ricky Ray, said: "How much time do you have? He's mature. He's composed. He really understands what it takes to win. He understands defences. He understands the offence they're running against the defences they play. He makes great decisions. He's accurate. He's tough. He's durable. He doesn't get hurt. He's got a knack to get out of trouble. He can break tackles. He's stronger than he looks. Is that enough for you?"

What Austin didn't mention, since he wasn't trying to be comprehensive, was what I mentioned about inspiring his receivers, and what I said about throwing for longer yardage. I would suggest that Ricky Ray is very, very good at longer corner routes and deep posts. There is much video evidence of it.

Just IMO, of course ...
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Blitz » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:15 am

Ypu're right WCJ...usually we see things very similarly...when it comes to football...so it does feel strange to see the Ricky Ray trade so differently. I read your last post several times and really considered what you've written. I believe I would be in the minority when it comes to my thoughts on Ricky Ray. Of course Ray has been ights out in playoff games in the past, he can throw the corner pattern the best of any CFL quarterback we've ever seen, he is durable, he can fight off a tackle to get rid of the football and is hard to take down, he's a deceptive runner, he reads defenses well, he is cool and composed, he throws an accurate pass, his stats are great.

I think where we differ is in that intangible area..that gut feeling..about Ricky Ray. Edmonton really turned things around this season with an 11-5 record, a semi-final playoff victorya and WDF appearance. Traditional wisdeom would have been to continue to build on that success with an experienced quarterback who had the best quarterback efficiency in the league this season. But Edmonton knew all the positives about Ricky Ray and the kind of season he has last year and still pulled the trigger.

Jyles couuld be a bust in Edmonton but they also believe in the potential of their backup quarterbacks. Its easy to forget that Travis Lulay was our fourth string quarterback not so long ago.

My gut says that Ricky Ray remains a very good quarterback but his strengths in his skill set also restrict an offence. Ray is best in the pocket running a high percentage passing offence. However, if you want an offence that is designed with more bootlegs and semi-rollouts you need a different style of quarterback. While the Anthony Cavillo's, Dave Dickenson's, and Ricky Ray style of quarterbacking has been successful in the CFL, overall the best quarterbacks have been very mobile from Jackie Parker to Joe Kapp to Russs Jackson to Doug Flutie. These highly mobile types of quarterbacks can really open up an offence if they can throw the ball successfully.

As defenes in tne CFL continue to evolve, the spread offence has seen its hey day..because CFL defenses have just gotten better and better at defencing the spread offence. Its why Cavillo and Ricky Ray, in part, were not in the Grey Cup this year. The days of pocket passing spread offences, with high percentage passing quarterbacks leading them to victory after victory are over.

Outstand Offensive success is going to take a different style of offence and also a certain style of quarterback. The high percentage pocket passing quarterback style will still work but a more wide open offence will be the better route to success.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby WestCoastJoe » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:54 am

You make good points, Blitz.

Some of it does come down to intangibles, to hunches, to an instinctive feeling.

Lulay has one helluva package of skills. He is much more of a runner than Ray. But the odds are fifty to one or a hundred to one or a thousand to one of just finding the next Lulay. To me, that is what Tillman has gambled on. Is Jyles going to be the next Lulay? Meanwhile the Eskimos had the next best thing to Lulay, Ricky Ray.

[In regard to changing offences in the CFL: And Lulay, in Chapdelaine's offence, did show the CFL that defences will have to adapt. But Calvillo is still there in Montreal. Ray is there in Toronto. And pocket passers IMO can still be very, very effective in the CFL, as always. Lulay is the only quarterback with the unique skill set (some of it intangilble, some of it physical) to play the game his way. Lulay is one of a kind at this time. Tillman will not likely find one like him on his Practice Roster. Kerry Joseph and Darian Durant provide mobility but do not approach the passing skills of the top guys IMO. Whomever Tillman comes up with, if mobility is truly what he wants, will probably be more like those two than Lulay. It seems to me that both athletic quarterbacks and pocket passers can thrive in the CFL.]

IMO Ricky Ray is way more than good enough to take a team to the Cup. Just as he is. The Argos could be number one in the East, just because of him. And I think the Schmos could have contended in the West with him. They contended this year, with a porous O Line.

IMO Tillman did not have to gamble. IMO Barker got a bit lucky, and found Tillman had a weakness in regard to Ray (in poker parlance, IMO, Tillman misread his hand. He was on Tilt, as they say.).

Part of my reaction against the trade is just about how a fan or GM evaluates Ray. The other part is about getting fair value in a trade. IMO Eric Tillman undervalued him, and just made a shockingly poor trade (for value). And he didn't need to. And he is going to have to fill a double inside straight (or even four of a kind, or a straight flush) to replace all that Ray brought to the Schmos.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Blitz » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:07 am

WestCoastJoe wrote:You make good points, Blitz.

Some of it does come down to intangibles, to hunches, to an instinctive feeling.

Lulay has one helluva package of skills. He is much more of a runner than Ray. But the odds are fifty to one or a hundred to one or a thousand to one of just finding the next Lulay. To me, that is what Tillman has gambled on. Is Jyles going to be the next Lulay? Meanwhile the Eskimos had the next best thing to Lulay, Ricky Ray.

[In regard to changing offences in the CFL: And Lulay, in Chapdelaine's offence, did show the CFL that defences will have to adapt. But Calvillo is still there in Montreal. Ray is there in Toronto. And pocket passers IMO can still be very, very effective in the CFL, as always. Lulay is the only quarterback with the unique skill set (some of it intangilble, some of it physical) to play the game his way. Lulay is one of a kind at this time. Tillman will not likely find one like him on his Practice Roster. Kerry Joseph and Darian Durant provide mobility but do not approach the passing skills of the top guys IMO. Whomever Tillman comes up with, if mobility is truly what he wants, will probably be more like those two than Lulay. It seems to me that both athletic quarterbacks and pocket passers can thrive in the CFL.]


I agree that you can win (and teams have) with both athletic quarterbacks and high efficiency pocket quarterbacks. I have a preference for the athletic type for the CFL.

I don't think Travis Lulay is one of a kind. We've seen quarterbacks like him many times before and will again and that's not taking anything away from Lulay. Henry Burris had a number of seasons similar to the one Travis Lulay had this season.

Its easy to forget that, for all of Travis Lulay's mobility, he was the most sacked quarterback in the league for the first 7 games of the season. Lulay played very well during our winning streak and in the playoffs but he was also advantaged by our new offensive structure for the last 12 games of the regular season and the playoffs and the time he was provided...something that Angus Reid pointed out. A quarterback who has time to throw suddenly becomes more accurate, more dangerous, and more effective. Casey Printers MOP stats were even better than Lulay's for his MOP season in 2004 and Printers did not continue that success. I doubt the same will happen to Lulay but he still will need to continue his outstanding play next season and a lot of that success will be based upon who we surround him with on offence in 2012, who is calling the plays and running the scheme. We also have to play a new right tackle and hopefully have Arland Bruce back as well.

No, Tillman did not need to gamble and conventional wisdom would say that he should not have. He's obviously brave at heart and to the risk takes go the rewards and also the spoils. However, this is not the first time we've seen a big name quarterback traded in the CFL.

Like you though, I wonder if Tillman got fair value in the trade. Toronto really needed a proven quarterback and like you I believe Edmonton could have held out for more or not made the trade.

IMO Ricky Ray is way more than good enough to take a team to the Cup. Just as he is. The Argos could be number one in the East, just because of him. And I think the Schmos could have contended in the West with him. They contended this year, with a porous O Line.

IMO Tillman did not have to gamble. IMO Barker got a bit lucky, and found Tillman had a weakness in regard to Ray (in poker parlance, IMO, Tillman misread his hand. He was on Tilt, as they say.).

Part of my reaction against the trade is just about how a fan or GM evaluates Ray. The other part is about getting fair value in a trade. IMO Eric Tillman undervalued him, and just made a shockingly poor trade (for value). And he didn't need to. And he is going to have to fill a double inside straight (or even four of a kind, or a straight flush) to replace all that Ray brought to the Schmos.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Toppy Vann » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:01 am

Would ET still be waiting to get Henry Burris for a song? I still think Burris is an elite QB in the right situation. He didn't get bad overnight like the milk from the corner store.

He could be thinking that Jyles with the right coaching and offense can be successful and he might be right. I certainly don't think Toronto managed Jyles properly. ET might be thinking that the next Drew Tate is behind Jyles anyways.

This trade seems a bit lopsided now but it is not out of character for ET and how he takes apart a team and builds the kind of team he wants for the short and longer term.

It was not like Wally saying no to keeping Damon Allen as WB looked good bringing in DD.

I am pretty sure that this is not about ET's arrogance as this guy is not dumb.
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Re: Ricky Ray to the Argos - How the deal went down ...

Postby Blitz » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:44 pm

Toppy Vann wrote:Would ET still be waiting to get Henry Burris for a song? I still think Burris is an elite QB in the right situation. He didn't get bad overnight like the milk from the corner store.

He could be thinking that Jyles with the right coaching and offense can be successful and he might be right. I certainly don't think Toronto managed Jyles properly. ET might be thinking that the next Drew Tate is behind Jyles anyways.

This trade seems a bit lopsided now but it is not out of character for ET and how he takes apart a team and builds the kind of team he wants for the short and longer term.

It was not like Wally saying no to keeping Damon Allen as WB looked good bringing in DD.

I am pretty sure that this is not about ET's arrogance as this guy is not dumb.


Certainly Tillman is not dumb as you note Toppy! He traded Kent Austin, our starter, right after we won the Cup. He traded iis Grey Cup starting quarterback in Saskatchewan and went with Durrant. He's not afraid to pull the trigger.

This past season, for all of Ricky Ray's stats, their offence came in sixth in first downs and touchdowns. Tillman thinks they can be more successful with a more athletic style of quarterback. I also think so too. Edmnnton does not have a great offensive line. They hae a powerful running back in Messam. If they can get a mobile quarteback to set up play action bootlegs they will be able to put a lot of pressure on a defense..and Edmonton has a good receiving core.

I'd rather have our B.C. Lions defending Ricky Ray than trying to defend a mobile quarterback...they are the ones who usually give us the most touble.

W'll have to drag this post up next year at this time and see how it all turns out...although my bet is that we'll really see how this trade turned out in 2013.
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