So about that Vernon Adams trade…

If you want, you can blame Justin Dunk.

It was my 3DownNation compadre who asked the fateful question of Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach June Jones that seems to have – for now, at least – scuttled any potential trade involving quarterback Vernon Adams. The query, which came after Jones said that Adams was about to be dealt after not appearing at practice on Thursday,  was simple enough “can you say what two teams?”

The appropriate answer to that question, from a football operations standpoint anyway, is: “No.”

Jones’ answer: “It’s Winnipeg and Montreal… excuse me, it’s Edmonton and Montreal.”

Now, a few years ago, that answer isn’t great but it isn’t catastrophic. Before Twitter, YouTube and blogs like this one – and I didn’t even have a dedicated work cell phone when I started covering the Ticats in 2009 – Jones’ response isn’t ideal but it would have taken time to filter out, maybe the next day if they’re lucky. There’s time to make the trade or clean up the mess or maybe even both.

Instead, it took roughly 10 seconds from the time he said it for his words to hit Twitter. We had a post up less than three minutes later. News doesn’t travel fast these days – there really isn’t any travel time at all.

Word soon filtered back to front office types in Montreal and Edmonton and they were, I’m sure, less than pleased to see their names attached to a deal that was not yet consummated. Trade talks laid bare can have all kinds of detrimental impacts on a locker room as players start to wonder about their standing on the team. Hardly surprising, then, that there were public comments issued from Edmonton and Montreal: not outright denials but a distancing from whatever deal might be on the table.

It is easy to lay this at Jones’ feet and we should probably take a moment to do just that – in as nice a way as possible. One of the most enjoyable things about covering June is his inclination to answer questions honestly, to avoid the usual obfuscation and misdirection that many coaches engage in. It’s one of the things the players like about him, too. That honesty, however, can sometimes get him into trouble, as can his inclination towards hyperbole, like when he says Johnny Manziel will be the best player to ever play in the CFL game. It’s not malicious, it’s just an entertaining quirk in his personality.

But the whole episode also highlights one of the potential pitfalls in the team’s unique football operations structure. Jones is the head coach with, we are led to believe, final say over the roster. But Eric Tillman is the general manager and was likely the guy running the phones on the Adams deal. Unless it was assistant general manager Shawn Burke, who handles much of the contract stuff. We’ve been led to believe that assistant head coach Orlondo Steinauer has a role in personnel as well. So does assistant general manager and director of Canadian scouting Drew Allemang.

So yeah, lots of cooks. And they seem to have made the decision that Jones will speak to all matters relating to both the coaching and personnel side, which is fine, though there are times when it’s fair to wonder if he can actually be up to speed on absolutely everything that’s going on – and whether he’s the right guy to be answering every question.

The Adams situation is kind of embarrassing but certainly not catastrophic. With three pre-season games still to be played, there’s still plenty to sort out on the quarterback front for a number of teams and there’s always a demand for athletic potential, which is what Adams represents. News that Adams is available may spark interest from other clubs – hey Winnipeg how’s your QB situation going? – and more suitors could increase his trade value. The Ticats may stumble ass-backwards into a better deal.

Not that it really matters. The Ticats sent a 2019 fourth round pick to the Calgary Stampeders and dropped six spots (from 28 to 34) in this year’s draft to acquire Charleston Hughes who was then flipped to Saskatchewan for Adams. All that to say the investment in Adams has been minimal, even if he’s cut – and it’s part of the price to get Manziel.

Even Dunk might agree with that.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1550 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

40 Comments on So about that Vernon Adams trade…

  1. nice to see a coach give the truth instead of those “canned answers”

  2. Colour me green // June 8, 2018 at 3:27 pm //

    He will end up somewhere soon. Many teams need him. Did his value just go up in negotiations?

    • Jeff Garcia's Agent // June 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm //

      Do many teams need him? He’s been on the rosters of nearly half the league and he’s never elevated himself above the other QB’s he been on those rosters with.

    • Riders4last // June 10, 2018 at 10:54 am //

      You meant to say your riders need him to be their starter

  3. So maybe it was a slip of the tongue on June Jones part and maybe he meant to say this as part of the strategy to trade Adams?

  4. rockfish // June 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm //

    While June’s honesty is refreshing, you just don’t talk about trading a player before a deal is consummated.

    • What honesty? Jones made it clear that Johnny Football would have to earn his next in line quarterback position.However, in a previous article about Adams ,Jones had told Adams as soon as they signed Johnny that the Cats would no longer require Adam’s service.
      Tiger-Cat fans, Jones has plots afoot that he doesn’t let the fans dare to know .This Jones is a complex and secretive coach.

  5. BC Dave // June 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm //

    As I commented after another story yesterday, I was surprised that they would say that before a deal was consummated. At the very least, do not mention the other teams involved. Honesty is refreshing but some thing are better left unsaid. If one hates lying, even a simple, No Comment” is a better way to go.

  6. Where's Shultz? // June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

    The best part of June is his candor, but yeah he would probably be better off to keep his mouth shut about stuff like this.

  7. canadianfootballfan // June 8, 2018 at 4:14 pm //

    I would have expected Winnipeg to be all over him.

  8. bigplay // June 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm //

    Drew with all due respect your comment about if the Cats end up cutting Adams the price was Minimal is exactly why the Cats have been waiting 19 seasons for a Grey Cup win in a tiny league of 8 now 9 teams with a salary cap hell the Redblacks Won the Damn thing in only 3 years back in the CFL.My point is this kind of screw ups are the reason for such ridiculous futility on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats part! I am sure other Teams will now be reluctant to make deals with such a inept Management Team truly a shame for the hard working fans that have supported this joke of a organization.

    • Garney 26 // June 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm //

      Bigplay I’ve been a Cats fan all my life so 50 years now. I understand your frustration and I’ve felt it at times but through this k and very thin I’ve stayed a Tiger-cats fan. I will say this at no point did I talk bad about my team, players, management, coaches or owners and frankly if you are so disappointed then go cheer for Ottawa or Toronto cause your disrespect isn’t needed. We have had a good team and close calls over the last few seasons, we have and had top players and some very greats. We have good coaches and an even better owner. With out Bob this conversation may never have happened. I’d rather watch the worst team in football and cheer them on then to have no team at all. Oskee wee wee.

  9. MR. Green // June 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm //

    June also said he expected Adams traded by the time he got to the meeting room. Edmonton is not desperate and Montreal is in no rush for a non starter, so teams can wait for a release. Adams won’t make a difference anyway at this time. I think June had a lot to do with trading for Adams as he likes high profile QB’s from top universities.
    My son showed me a nice video last year on YouTube where this American kid in YouTube called Deestroying came up last year for labour day and before the game went to Vernon’s house for a visit. Good guy, but not sure he has what it takes at this point. Hope he does, but we will see.

  10. Cats play early tomorrow in Montreal. Maybe Vernon will bring his luggage with him ?

  11. This is such a weird situation. Feel bad for the guy caught in the middle.

  12. I was shocked to hear Jones say that before it happened but I do love the honesty when he talks its quite the opposite from Kent.

  13. wewert3 // June 8, 2018 at 4:27 pm //

    Why would teams give a crap whether or not a trade leaks before it’s a done deal? They don’t if the trade is beneficial to them.

    We know Montreal inquired about Adams. Conversely, we know Edmonton did not. Hamilton just used Edmonton’s name to extract a better deal from Montreal. When the Als figured out they were bidding against themselves, they lowered the offer or just said forget it as the final cuts are only 3 days away.

    Why Montreal would even want Vernon Adams in the first place is a mystery. Luckily for them, they’ve come to their senses and will not waste players or draft picks in acquiring Adams.

    • Where's Shultz? // June 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm //

      Wewert how do you ‘know’ either of those things?

      • wewert3 // June 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm //

        Somebody covering them said Montreal asked about Adams. Edmonton themselves said that Hamilton came to them which lead to the Eskimos saying no.

        Adams eventually getting traded to Edmonton or Montreal would reaffirm everybody’s opinion that while June Jones might have spoken too much, he was just being honest.

        I have my doubts about Jones telling the truth. He said that Adams and his agent had his choice of 2 teams. Are you going to tell me that a leaked story prevented not only 2 teams from making a trade they wanted AND prevented Adams (who Jones acts like he cares about) from going to a better situation? Not going to believe that for one second if no trade ever materializes.

        No trade just means the obvious. Only Montreal had some interest. Edmonton and likely all other CFL teams never had interest. Hamilton just tried to bluff Montreal into a better deal and it backfired.

  14. “It’s better that I not answer that” can still be an honest answer, even if it’s not forthright. Though maybe Jones had reasons for revealing what he did that aren’t immediately obvious to the rest of us.

  15. As I said yesterday, other than an empty Gatorade bottle or a deflated football WTF is Hamilton going to get in a trade for Vern Adams?

    The guy’s a terrible QB. I’ve been explaining this since he came into the CFL. That’s why teams are dumping him so quickly.

    Adams just doesn’t have the talent to be a pro level QB.

    • Well I certainly didn’t lose any sleep when we flipped him for Hughes

      • When Regina acquired Adams I remember all the Rider fan boys pumping his tires incessantly.

        Here’s what I explained to Rider Fan about him last year..

        “I ruled out Vern Adams as a competent pro level QB long before he got to Montreal. His NCAA stats were inflated by the gimmick system he played in. Looks great to see a 60yd TD on the stat sheet – – until you realize it was a 5yd dump off and the receiver had 55yds after the catch.

        Adams has marginally better ability to read coverage than Jennings does but he’s not nearly as good at scrambling. Biggest issue for Adams is that his arm strength is laughable – – get ready for lots of wobbling rainbow throws from this guy.”

        “When you think of a classic QB poised in the pocket, Ricky Ray is the epitome of that. Adams is not close to that. He’s going to default to scramble mode at the first sign of pressure. He could get away with that against Directional State U, but it won’t play at the pro level because he’s not nearly as athletic as some are pumping him up to be.”

        Once again my assessment of a player was right on point.

    • Where's Shultz? // June 8, 2018 at 5:13 pm //

      So who do you like? All you ever do is spew garbage onto this site.

      • Purrfect // June 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm //

        Diar-area 51 is an Argo fan and as such doesn’t have anyone else to communicate with so he comes to this site

      • In terms of QBs, you won’t find a bigger fan of Mike Reilly, Ricky Ray and Zach Collaros than me.

        I don’t have any respect for Levi Mitchell but I can acknowledge that he’s got some talent and is definitely among the top four QBs in the league. Lulay’s a good QB but unfortunately he’s about as durable as wet tissue paper.

    • McManus' Love Handles // June 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm //

      The Area51 opinion is predictable. An article related to ANY CFL QB past, present, or future – “brutal, worst quarterback ever! WTF!”.

      • Haha classic handle – love it

      • I just call it as I see it, my friend.

        If a guy has talent, I’ll be the first to acknowledge it. But if he’s a scrub QB, I’m going to point it out.

        • But what is your knowledge of whether he is a scrub QB based on?

          • Just watch the film, my friend. It never lies.

            Specifically, go back and take a good look at last year’s pre season game between Montreal and Toronto.

            Adams was horrifically bad.

  16. Good piece. Nice look at the inner mechanics of what happened.

  17. Scottsask // June 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm //

    Ask a question, get an answer, I love it! I understand why he should have kept his mouth shut, but his take is sooooo refreshing! Big respect for coach Jones.

  18. Energize 2018 // June 8, 2018 at 6:49 pm //

    Moniz, Manziel, Massoli – the three M’s; is a pretty good position to be in, and perhaps a young development player hidden away.
    Adam’s is not worth it for the Cats.

  19. bigplay // June 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm //

    Vernon Adams is way more talented than Moniz and Moniz a young development player? He is 29 years of age while Adams is only 25 years old and Adams played at a higher level of football in the NCAA and had better numbers even his short CFL career numbers are better you must joking Energize 2018//

  20. Purrfect // June 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm //

    Something tells me J Jones wouldn’t be the best poker player….

  21. timbits // June 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm //

    might as well trade Chapman’s rights to since their seems to be a statement in negotiations

  22. Jim Bob // June 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm //

    Thought Kavis Reed when he traded Adams to Sask said Adams WILL NEVER PLAY QB for the Als? Bad blood there IF CORRECT for whatever reason. The Peg or even the Stamps make the most sense to me due to their present situations at back up QB.

    • wewert3 // June 9, 2018 at 2:11 am //

      Good point about Reed’s comments. Adams’ current team is Hamilton whose coach is the 2nd newest HC in the CFL. The newest HC is Mike Sherman in Montreal. Both likely have heard of Adams as he played in a big NCAA school but have never seen him throw in the CFL.

      My conclusion is those 2 just don’t know any better.

  23. Ron Tuthill // June 9, 2018 at 2:17 am //

    If in this day and age the media hadn’t reported it then it wouldn’t be a big deal so I have to blame June and the media 50-50 on this. Maybe now Jones has a taste of what Kent Austin had to put up with and why some questions asked of Austin he politely refused to answer.

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