The Rouge takes a look at each team and poses their biggest question heading into the off-season. Today, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
It's the biggest question the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have to answer this off-season and probably the biggest question of the entire winter in the CFL: Will Buck Pierce lead the club in 2013?
Pierce's concussion history is well documented. So too are the differing opinions on how the 31-year-old should proceed with his career. Some say he should call it quits, fearing for his future health, while others believe he can - and should - make his own decisions and as long as someone is willing to pay him to play football, he should be allowed to.
So the question perhaps now becomes: are the Bombers willing to continue paying Pierce to quarterback their team. When healthy, there's no doubt Pierce can be an effective signal caller in the CFL, but reliability is definitely an issue.
Pierce saw action in just seven games for Winnipeg last season and has missed 26 regular season games in his three years with the Bombers.
Should the Bombers choose to enter next season with Pierce as their starter, identifying and acquiring a backup they are comfortable with starting some games throughout the year seems like a requirement. Whether that backup is Joey Elliott or Alex Brink, or even Justin Goltz, is another question Winnipeg would have to resolve.
Of course, GM Joe Mack and head coach Tim Burke could consider Pierce himself as a backup moving forward. The energetic QB could thrive in a change-of-pace roll. And coming off the bench could help to keep Pierce healthier as well.
The third option would obviously be to move on from Pierce. After a 6-12 season in the ‘Peg, off-season change is likely to come. Whether Pierce finds himself part of that change is yet to be seen.
The Rouge asks: What should the Winnipeg Blue Bombers do with Buck Pierce this off-season?