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Why the Vernon Adams Trade Makes Sense

Published: Thursday, Aug 17th 2017, 1:08pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders traded for QB Vernon Adams Jr. on Tuesday morning, acquiring the 24 year old pivot and a 5th round pick in the 2018 draft from Montreal in exchange for DB Tevaughn Campbell, and 3rd round picks in 2018 and 2019. For the first time in the short Chris Jones era, we have a future plan at the QB position here in Riderville and it’s a great move for many reasons.

First, When Chris Jones got rid of franchise QB Darian Durant in February, a lot of people were upset that we didn’t get much in return (which I disagree with, since he was a free agent right away anyway, so getting something for nothing is always a good deal), so I add this trade onto the Durant deal. If we do that, it breaks down like this:

To Saskatchewan: QB Vernon Adams Jr., a 4th round pick in 2017 (OL Eddie Meredith) and a 5th round pick in 2018.

To Montreal: QB Darian Durant, DB Tevaughn Campbell, a 3rd round pick in 2018 and a 3rd round pick in 2019.

Again, considering Durant was a free agent and was never going to be back with the Riders in 2017, getting a young QB in Adams, who is under contract through 2018, is a very good move for a team that needed to move on at the QB position. I think if that was the original trade, a lot of people would have felt a lot better about it and there wouldn’t be as much negativity towards Chris Jones as there is today. Now don’t get me wrong, I always said that in 2017 Durant gave this team their best chance to win, but once it became blatantly clear Chris Jones had moved on, we all had to as well and look towards the future.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen as the Riders then brought in Vince Young, who hadn’t taken a pro snap in 6 years, and a 38 year old Kevin Glenn. So much for the youth movement. There was really no plan in place and the hope was that James Franklin from Edmonton became available through free agency in 2018 to be our starter. And that’s why Tuesday’s trade is good. Jones is being proactive now. James Franklin will draw a LOT of attention later this year and around free agency that there is no guarantee he comes to Saskatchewan.

Toronto will need a QB as Ricky Ray, while healthy is still an elite QB, gets hurt often now and his career is winding down. Ottawa, even with Trevor Harris in place, is 1-6-1 currently and they may have a shake up. Hamilton is 0-7 and since coming back from his ACL injury, Zach Collaros hasn’t been himself. He’s looked shaky, scared and just not the same. It’s a bit puzzling that Montreal would give up on Adams already since they gave up a first round pick for him, but they believe that Drew Willy is a better option behind Durant than Adams is. James Franklin will have many suitors (and I expect Chris Jones to make a major push for him too), so having a young QB under contract for next season was imperative.

You may be asking what this means for Brandon Bridge. Well I’m glad you asked! Bridge is a free agent after this season and we don’t know if he will be back next year. I would love to see him back next year and battle with Adams, Marquise Williams (and Franklin?) for the starting spot on the 2018, but with Chris Jones’ recent comments that Bridge and Williams need to show better in practice, I lean towards Jones not being happy with and committed to Bridge past this season. Maybe we see Bridge used as trade bait to another team out east. He’s looked good in the games he’s played in and has always been referred to as a gamer, but unless he starts showing better in practice, he may be on his way out of here. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Chris Jones to move Bridge before the season ends and eliminate one of his competitors for Franklin as Bridge’s value may not be higher than it is right now.

One certainty that this trade shows us is that starting QB Kevin Glenn will not be back in 2018. When he was signed, we all knew it was a one year bridge (no pun intended) until we get our QB of the future. Glenn is having quite the start to the season and we have no reason to replace him right now, but he’s 38 and he’s not the future of this team.

It’s time to finally go young at the most important position and for the first time since Chris Jones took over, we have options. The last time we had options with young QBs on the roster, it was 2008/2009 when Durant battled with Steven Jyles for the starting position and that turned out pretty okay for us. There’s no guarantee that Vernon Adams Jr. is the future starting QB of the Riders, but trading for him makes sense and ultimately makes the Saskatchewan Roughriders a better team now and tomorrow. Let the QB fun and speculation in Riderville begin!


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