Jovan leaves the Den. Confirmation on Page 8.

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David
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Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:51 pm

Two rumours recently surfaced about Wally shopping Jovan Olafioye. The 2nd report today provides more details, so I am posting a link HERE.

It seems we overspent on free agents (really?!? I think we came up rather light compared to some other teams. Perhaps it was inking all those veterans to extensions prior to FA). This has precipitated trade talks with an Eastern team for his services in an effort to shed salary, which I am not happy about.

Jovan is a lockdown tackle. The awards speak for themselves - a 6 time CFL All-Star and Most Outstanding Lineman (2012). He's only 29 and likely has about 5 more good years in him. Will go down as one of the best O-linemen we've ever had. What good is signing someone like Chris Williams if JJ is (potentially) going to be running for his life? I hope we have someone good lined up to take his place. And they'd better be damn good. We've seen a veritable revolving door at left tackle for the past decade - this doesn't make a lot of sense.



DH :cool:
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Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:57 pm

I hope his means the Lions are planning to move Hunter Steward to his natural position at LT and start four nationals on the O-line. Olafioye has been good but he was better at RT than LT, and the Lions can fill the RT spot with a cheaper player.
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DanoT
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Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:08 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:I hope his means the Lions are planning to move Hunter Steward to his natural position at LT and start four nationals on the O-line. Olafioye has been good but he was better at RT than LT, and the Lions can fill the RT spot with a cheaper player.
This is what I was thinking and 4 starting Nats on the Oline might mean only one starting Nat receiver. And if Hunter gets injured you replace him with an Int. and then go with 2 starting Nat receivers.

Wally letting trade rumours get out might be his way to get Olafioye to warm up to agreeing to a renegotiated salary in order to stay in Van.

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Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:43 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:I hope his means the Lions are planning to move Hunter Steward to his natural position at LT and start four nationals on the O-line. Olafioye has been good but he was better at RT than LT, and the Lions can fill the RT spot with a cheaper player.

steward was acceptable as a G. No way he is acceptable at tackle, plus he was always getting injured.
Probably bring in a US T for 75k-100k, with a PR backup.

plus don't they just want Jovan to take a 20k decrease so that he is more at market value (Dennis was 170-180k).


we are at 7 cdn's already. 8 if Gore returns at SB (Then they can end this field corner experiment)

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Blitz
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:59 am

As I look ahead to the 2017 CFL season, it would not be wise for any CFL team to be shopping a perennial all-star lineman due to salary concerns. Wally should have planned for the SMS much better than this.

As I look at the CFL, Calgary, with Dickenson and Hufnagel and Bo Levi Mitchell are going to be a very good team again in 2017. Edmonton will be improved, with Ed Hervey bringing in good players, with Maas in his second year as a HC, with Reilley at quarterback, and their defense way ahead, personnel wise, than they were at this stage last year. They lost Walker but Bowman is back and the Eskimos will be tough. Winnipeg has solidified its quarterback situation and they signed away Stanley Bryant from the Stamps to add to their offensive line talent. The Riders, after a first year of turmoil under Chris Jones, should be better this season.

The Rough Riders not only signed the most free agents for the 2017 season but they also signed coveted Calgary offensive lineman Derek Dennis (341 pounds). The Riders will also have a healthy Brendon LaBatte on the left side to compliment Dennis. At the receiver position the Ridres have Duron Carter, Naaman Roosevelt, Bakari Grant, Chad Owens and Rob Bagg. as well as Caleb Holley, Ricky Collins Jr., Joe Craig and Armanti Edwards. They also re-signed impact defensive end Willie Jefferson before he got to free agency, ex-NFL tailback Daniel Thomas. The Rough Ridres also signed ratio changer and safety Marc-Olivier Brouillette. There will be no free ride playing the Riders this season.

So in the West, both Wiinnipeg and the Riders hoped to improve by paying big bucks to two talented free agent offensive lineman and we are looking to trade our best offensive lineman. Doesn't make sense to me. There will be no easy games in the West this season and we were only .500 in the West Division last season, with 3 of those 5 wins coming at the expense of Saskatchewan.

If we want to go with four Nationals on the offensive line, it makes sense to me to move Hunter Steward to left tackle, his natural position and a spot he played very well at during the 2015 season before his injury. We could then move Jovan back to right tackle where he will do a much better job than Antonio Johnson ever could. If Stewart gets hurt, we would either have to insert an International in his place and go with two National receivers or we will have to play a National at left tackle. We had hoped for Brett Boyko to join our Leos but he is signed right now by San Diego. We could also draft a Nantional left tackle for depth.

In terms of salary, we don't need to pay big bucks for a fourth International receiver. There are less expensive options than Nick Moore, although he is a good possession receiver but he also has been hurt a lot in his career. We have many National and International recieivers on the roster who could slip into the wide slot spot for 2017. Marco Iannnuzzi is also an overpaid National receiver who has not stepped up his game, dispite 6 seasons as a starter.

We also likely won't be able to feast on the East, as we did last year. Montreal will be greatly improved. They will have a knowledgeable coach in Chapdelaine on the sidelines rather than the Jim Popp show that hurt them so much last year. They also signed Ernest Jackson’s arrival and he will compliment a healthy S.J. Green and veteran Nik Lewis. In Toronto, with Mark Trestmann back in the CFL, Ricky Ray will be throwing much more quickly and Toronto's offence will become much more complex as well as more difficult to stop. It may take some time but they will be better.

Hamilton will have Collaras to start the season and he should return to his 2015 form. Defensive tackle Ted Laurent, defensive ends John Chick and Adrian Tracy as well as Canadian defensive end Justin Capicciotti provide a solid base of both national and international talent for the Tiger Cats on defense and they also have Simoni Lawrence at linebacker. Even though Ottawa lost some key players to free agency including Ernest Jackson, but don't think they have been decimated. Ottawa was not going to sign Chris Williams. Ottawa signed Diontae Spencer and Kenny Shaw out of Toronto and Spencer gives the Reddblacks the speed they lost with Chris Williams. Ottawa has Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli as well as emerging Juron Criner.

So as I look at the CFL for 2017, our Leos look to have an exciting lineup but it looks as if every CFL team will be better this year. No time to be shopping a perennial all-star offensive lineman. They are coveted (as Bryant and Dennis were this off-season). Wally needs to find a different way to manage his SMS for 2017 and different decisions are required than choosing this option.

Protecting the quarterback, opening holes for the running attack are priorities for our offence. No sense having an exciting young quarterback in Jennings, a good receiving corpps and talented running backs like Johnson and Rainey, if you don't have the horses in front of them to allow them to do their job to the best of their ability. Winning usually takes palce in the trenches first.


This is what Wally said last year at training camp.
Throughout the offseason and first few days of training camp, Wally Buono has repeated his mission statement over and over: If the Lions want to get back to the CFL penthouse in November, they must own the line of scrimmage. Having Jovan Olafioye at left tackle will no doubt play a big part fulfilling said mission. Entering his 7th season in orange, the Detroit native still has the excitement and mentality of someone just breaking into the pros. “It’s always fun to come to camp and see the guys you haven’t seen in awhile,” Olafioye said. “In football or any sport, you become a family.”

The big left tackle, who famously said he would “run through a wall” for Buono when the head coach announced his return to the sidelines in November. Since migrating north, Olafioye’s resume has become as impressive as any CFL lineman you will find. Six CFL All-Star selections, six more divisional nods and the 2012 league Most Outstanding Lineman Award to go along with his Grey Cup win in 2011.

New draftee Charles Vaillancourt has fit in quite nicely. Don’t think for a second that doesn’t have something to do with having a good group of veterans like Olafioye to lean on. “You can’t ask for more,” Vaillancourt said. “He is so good with his technique and just by observing you pick up so much about how they play. Everything we can pick up from watching and asking questions is great.”

“This is my football home,” Olafioye declared. “I am a BC Lion.”
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David
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:32 pm

Rick Dhaliwal is tweeting that Montreal is the interested party.
Rick Dhaliwal‏ @DhaliwalSports

The #BCLions and Montreal talking trade about OL Jovan Olafioye. Work to be done before deal done.
The problem is, if Wally is to get fair value in return, the player(s) he receives are going to count against the cap regardless. Draft picks are too risky given the number of good prospects now that are garnering NFL attention.

Given that Jovan's good for at least 5 more quality seasons (in my humble estimation), this has the potential to go sideways. You're never dealing from strength when it's a salary dump and you're only dealing with one team. He's a really good dude, too. Don't like this at all. :thdn:


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CardiacKid
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:12 pm

I am surprised this hasn't included mention of Jovan restructuring his deal. I am also disappointed that we are potentially looking at loosing his quality of play but also his experience; our offensive line is a little green.

I have a hard time believing Wally "over-spent" during free agency...like he had a whoopsie or something. I expect this is a calculated move on his part.

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Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:13 pm

If true, this would be very surprising for a number of reasons.
1 Wally is usually very responsible with the cap, and it is very unusual for him to go over the cap, let alone as a result of a free agent spending spree.
2. The timing is a little odd, the salary cap does not officially kick in until game 1 of the regular season. Wally would still have plenty of time to try out other import tackles through camp to see what he has, and make a decision based on that.
3. Wally is a firm believer that games are won and lost in the trenches, it seems strange that he would be willing to loose the best lineman in the league, who at 29, probably still has a few good seasons left.
4. The moves Wally has made during the last 2 offseason would suggest Wally wants to win, and he wants to win now, jovan has experience and would be a key piece on a championship calibre team.
5. While some, including myself, have questioned some of the moves Wally has made, Wally rarely, if ever makes a completely stupid move, should he move ahead with a trade this would be a stupid move.

My guess would be Wally is just "shopping" to see what potential return he could get. As I have mentioned, a move like this would go against wally's philosophy. Jovan is without a doubt the best lineman in the league and at $200,000 he is worth every penny, considering Van Zeyl in Toronto is going to get $230,000, and Bouke and Perret were in that range too.
I'm sure Wally knows what he is doing and has a plan though.

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Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:01 am

An O Line obviously has many moving parts. National. International. Right side. Left side. Tackle. Guard. Centre. Philosophy. Many permutations and combinations, especially in the world of Dan Dorazio.

Jovan has been a class act all the way with the Lions. I would not want to see him move on. I cannot see how we would replace him with near equal playing value. We did not see any such International replacement talent on the roster last year. I do not think we would get back anything in trade near the quality of player we give up, either in players or draft picks.

Hunter Steward. Do Wally and Dan Dorazio have such belief in Steward for left tackle, that they feel we can give up Jovan? Or is it just that Wally feels he is in an untenable position re the cap?

This CFL fan would not mind seeing Hunter Steward at left tackle once again, if it comes to that. It seems clear that left tackle is his natural position. His play at left tackle prior to injury was a treat to behold.

I agree with those that feel Jovan is better suited to right tackle (I thought we made a mistake letting solid left tackle Tommie Draheim go).

One gets the impression that Wally is not comfortable with having overspent on free agency, by his standards.

If we are up against the cap, why not just eat the penalty? (Of course, Wally would not want to do that.)

Many moving parts indeed. There is danger here. We do not seem to be dealing from a position of strength. 2016 was a year of relative calm and effectiveness for our O Line. That is at risk.

Just IMO ...
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Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:30 am

This sure flies in the face of the way Wally has operated over the years — putting a key veteran on the trading block in the prime of his career for salary cap reasons.
I think back to all those great teams in the 2004-07 era and how the Lions always retained their key players and stayed under the cap. And that was with an often-injured Dickenson making franchise money as QB along with high-priced receivers Simon and Clermont and loads of money being spent on the o-line too (Murphy was making $150,000 and that was 10 years ago). Brent Johnson was rightly the league's highest paid defensive player while the likes of Banks, Floyd, Marsh, Miles, Hunt and Williams didn't come cheaply either. Any coincidence the Lions revenue and crowds were very good then too compared to now (minus better TV money)?

If Wally is so up against the cap then how can he justify having one of the league's highest paid back-up QBs who is behind a 25 year-old who started all 18 games last season? I get it that Travis remains one of the faces of the franchise and is among the team leaders but at the expense of losing your best offensive lineman? Don't see the Seahawks wasting a lot of cap space on their back-up QB behind a 27 year-old starter and they have a crappy o-line.

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Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:58 am

Furthermore trading him to a team that could be in even worse shape cap wise than us, not sure how they are now, but if I recall Montreal had some widely publicized cap issues last season as well.
Something just doesn't seem right, I wonder if something is up with Jovan, maybe he requested this trade, or maybe he has some type of injury that wasn't publicized.

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Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:17 am

SammyGreene wrote:I think back to all those great teams in the 2004-07 era and how the Lions always retained their key players and stayed under the cap.
There was no cap until 2007, only salary "guidelines". 2007 was the first season where the was enforcement of the SMS.
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Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:32 am

SammyGreene wrote:This sure flies in the face of the way Wally has operated over the years — putting a key veteran on the trading block in the prime of his career for salary cap reasons.
I think back to all those great teams in the 2004-07 era and how the Lions always retained their key players and stayed under the cap. And that was with an often-injured Dickenson making franchise money as QB along with high-priced receivers Simon and Clermont and loads of money being spent on the o-line too (Murphy was making $150,000 and that was 10 years ago). Brent Johnson was rightly the league's highest paid defensive player while the likes of Banks, Floyd, Marsh, Miles, Hunt and Williams didn't come cheaply either. Any coincidence the Lions revenue and crowds were very good then too compared to now (minus better TV money)?

If Wally is so up against the cap then how can he justify having one of the league's highest paid back-up QBs who is behind a 25 year-old who started all 18 games last season? I get it that Travis remains one of the faces of the franchise and is among the team leaders but at the expense of losing your best offensive lineman? Don't see the Seahawks wasting a lot of cap space on their back-up QB behind a 27 year-old starter and they have a crappy o-line.
No question that Travis is a very expensive backup and the 'mentoring' that he can provide for Jennings at this stage is minimal. Jennings had a very impressive first full year as a starting quarterback. He passed for over 5226 yards, threw 27 touchdown passes, his quarterback efficiency average was 102.2 and he completed 67% of his passes. That passing percentage is even more impressive when one things about the number of difficult and long throws that Jennings made in 2017. The only area really needing improvement is Jennings needs to make safer throws when we have a lead towards the end of a game but if we gave Jennings high percentage pass plays in those situations and some guidance, that is a stat that can easily be improved upon.

Obviously, injuries can happen at the quarterback postion and you want to have a good backup. But not only is Lulay expensive but he is also not effective. Last season, Lulay had a miserable 80.9 quarterback efficiency average and threw two interceptons and two touchdown passes. In the WDF, with both our offence and defence struggling badly as the Stamps pre-scouted us well and game planned for us brilliantly while the same can not be said for our side of things, we inserted Lulay to give us a spark. Jennings was 17/24 and had completed 71% of his passes. Its not that he played badly. Calgary's defense was just so well prepared for our offence. But Lulay, with his experience, made an ill-advised throw for an interception and Buono returned Jennings into the contest.

Travis Lulay provided our Leos with experience at the quarterback position last year as we coninued in the new direction that began in 2015, when Tedford made the move to Jennings as our starter in the last third of that season. It was a good thing to see a young quarterback with tons of talent being encouraged and supported by an experienced quarterback like Lulay. But the 'mentorship' thing is getting old. We must have had six stories last year about the relationship between Jennings and Lulay. Jennings arrived back in town this season and we got another article about it. Newspaper reporters seem to have zero imagination. If they are writing a story about Jennings they have to do the Lulay mentorship thing over and over again.

Quite frankly, I believe Jennings would play well, Lulay mentorship or not. Jennings makes very difficult, very accurate throws into double coverage. That's not mentorship - that's talent. Jennings basically played pitch and catch with tremdous throws to receivers like Manny and Gore, who also made great catches. It was not scheme. It was straight up ability. We led the CFL in plays over 30 yards with 53 of them. When defenses shut that down, our offensive scheme did not have an answer.

Yes, its good that Jennings and Lulay have a good relationship. But would you pay that kind of money to a backup quarterback who didBln't want to support the young starter. I don't think so and Lulay understands that too. No other team was interested in Lulay as a starter or even as a well paid backup. Lulay could not get the money he gets (which is more than Jennings is paid) with any other team.

There are many ways we could save some salary to pay Olifioye, who is actally cheap in terms of contract based upon his abilities and stature as one of the CFL's best linemen. We could restructure Lulays' contract. We could go with a cheap International receiver to compliment Manny, Burnham, and Chris Williams. We could dump Iannuzzi, who is well paid as a National receiver, and to with Adekolu (who is much cheaper) and use Blazsco or the very speedy Shaq Johhson as the backup. Time to aloow some new National receiver talent to develop.

Trading a perennial all-star, a still young 29 year old offensive lineman who can play both tackle postions excellently, makes no sense to me at all. I sure as hell hope that Buono is not getting input from Dorazio, who has all kinds of strange ideas about offensive line personelll.
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Gridiron Ernie
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Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:54 am

To echo general reaction/sentiment (if I'm reading it right) on this board, this seems altogether odd and so out of character. I would have dismissed it as baseless rumour if it didn't come from as dependable a source as Farhan Lalji. I so hope that, for one of the rare instances, he's somehow misinformed, or somehow someone crossed their wires about any of this.
I checked Jovan's twitter and his most recent tweets (mid-Feb and early March) indicate euphoria over the signings of Burnham and Williams and exclaiming how they'd work together to get big pass yardage this season, while the latest, just ten days ago, is a clip of him running sprints for Lion's trainer Boyko, exclaiming "just want to be the best" . So he's evidently enthusiastic and healthy by all indications there at least.
I'm left puzzled as heck. Jovan is a class act on the field of play, and a class guy all round, and I know Wally very well knows that. and I just can't easily buy that an "oops" mistake was made re salary cap. I realize 'human error' can happen even with savvy fellow like Wally, but you'd think there would be enough vigilance and checks and balances along the way, what with staff teamwork and such, that such wouldn't occur. Still puzzling over this one, as it is an unsettling thought to even imagine Jovan gone elsewhere. Nothing about it that I like!

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Toppy Vann
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Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:21 pm

Maybe it's both $$$/SMS and wanting someone more than JO. Who?

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