Are the Esks after Newman?


The Edmonton Journal’s Mario Annicchiarico tweeted a comment this morning about the return of Jesse Newman to the Calgary Stampeders and how the Esks are one of several teams rumoured to be exploring trade options with the Stamps to acquire the offensive linemen. The other two teams with rumoured interest include the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. That the three worst teams in the league would be interested in acquiring the soon-to-be 28-year-old is not exactly earth shattering news. Newman has started in the CFL and one would imagine that missing half a season is not exactly going to slow him down over the long run.

So should the Esks be going after Jesse Newman? Of course they should.

The real question is what would they be willing to give up in return for the non-import guard?

Do they dangle what could be a potential top three pick in the 2011 CFL Draft? Throw together a package deal of prospects? Or trade way an established veteran? And while we are asking questions, when does the asking price become too high?

Trading away a first round pick in the upcoming draft might be a little steep of price to pay. The Esks should be acquiring draft picks, not getting rid of them. The team looks like it might be able to cash in on up to 75% of its picks from the 2010 draft with Saleem Borhot and Corbin Sharun already on the team and defensive tackle Brian Bulcke all but assured of making the team next year once he finishes his college career at Stanford. Those types of results are not typical and losing a first round pick might be a little steep for the Esks in the long run.

Putting together a package of players would also probably be difficult given the Eskimos current roster situation. The team could send one of their offensive line prospects to Calgary together with an import, but the Esks really can’t afford to give away much in the way of depth as injuries to starters have forced them to go out and resign early season cuts like Randee Drew and Tremayne Kirkland to fill roster spots. It’s doubtful that the Stamps would be interested in the lower end of the Esks roster, so that could kill that possibility.

As for trading an established veteran, who could they get rid of that wouldn’t be missed on the roster? Again, it’s the question of the team not having enough depth at key positions to contemplate sending an established play maker down Highway 2 to the number one team in the CFL.

In all the talk about Newman being potential trade bait, let’s not forget that the Stamps have a few lineman with high millage counts on their odometers. Dan Comiskey, despite playing great football this year, is still 38-years-old and won’t be around much longer. Rob Lazeo is 37-years-old and retirement after this season is a possibility. Having Newman ready to slot in beside center Tim O’Neil and guard Dmitri Tsoumpas would solidify the Stamps interior line for the next five years at the very least and it might be tempting for them just to juggle their roster and hang on to what is a valuable commodity in the CFL.

The Esks are not in a bad spot when it comes to non-import interior linemen with Kyle Koch, Aaron Fiaconni, and Patrick Kabongo all very capable with lots of miles to go before they start thinking about hanging up the cleats. That being said, adding another potential starter to the mix would not be a bad idea. Stay tuned.


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