It's always a bit of a gamble, taking a flyer on an aging star and hoping he still has some of it – whatever it was that made him great for all those years – left in the tank.
We know what he has done; we wonder what he can still do.
That's the gamble the Saskatchewan Roughriders took this off-season when they traded for aging star Geroy Simon before he was released and free to sign with the highest bidder.
Granted the Roughriders gave up little to acquire Simon, sending in exchange the since-released Justin Harper and a third-round pick in the 2014 draft, but they are still banking on him to be not only a leader off the field but a productive player on it as well.
Simon leaves the Lions as the league's all-time leading receiver with 15,887 yards. He's nearing in on 1,000 career catches and has found the end zone a total of 100 times. But perhaps of more interest to the Roughriders are Simon's stats from a year ago. With just 54 catches for 700 yards, it was the first time in 10 seasons the 2006 Most Outstanding Player failed to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving.
Of course injuries played a part in Simon's subpar stat line of 2012 – he played in only 13 regular season games – but injuries could become a consistent concern for Simon, who missed just three games in the 10 years before last season, as he continues to age. It's worth noting the two-time Grey Cup champion left the only pre-season game he suited up for this year with an undisclosed injury.
Injuries aside, at 37-years-old is Simon the type of player that can stay productive even as his physical skills decline? Had he been healthy for a full 18 games last year, his projected numbers fall just short of a 1,000-yard season, one year after collecting 1,350 yards through the air.
Simon will never be remembered as anything but a BC Lion, no amount of heroics in Saskatchewan this year will change that. But that doesn't have to be the case for this trade to be considered a success for the Roughriders.
Last year Henry Burris moved east after the Calgary Stampeders felt they no longer required the veteran's services and had perhaps the best statistical year of his lengthy career. Simon's move isn't as far east, but he'll be looking to mimic Burris' resurgent season.
The Rouge asks: Can Geroy Simon still be ‘super' in Saskatchewan? You've heard what we've had to say, now it's your turn. As always, it's Your! Call.