The BC Lions Football Club today announced that international defensive back Buddy Jackson has signed with the team for the 2017 season.
The well-traveled Florida native was most recently a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and appeared in six games for the Green and White in 2016 tallying 21 defensive stops.
“Buddy is a key veteran addition to our secondary,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “He’s a physical defender with good size and range and we expect him to be a playmaker on defence this year.”
Originally coming to the CFL as a member of the Calgary Stampeders in 2013, Jackson (6’1”, 190) spent parts of three years with the Stamps before signing with the Dallas Cowboys in December 2015. Over three active CFL campaigns including last year as a ‘Rider, the University of Pittsburgh grad has 24 CFL starts under his belt as well as a Grey Cup championship.
Also announce that international defensive tackle Mic’hael Brooks has re-signed with the team through the 2018 season. Brooks was eligible to become a free agent today.
“Mic’hael has the ability to be one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the league and this is a significant signing for our defence,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “The ability to control the line of scrimmage, pressure the quarterback and stop the run are the qualities upon which championship defences are built and by re-signing Mic’hael this is a big step in that direction.”
Through two CFL campaigns Brooks has appeared in 28 regular season games recording 62 tackles and four sacks. The East Carolina grad was a 2015 West Division All-Star, but an ankle injury suffered in Calgary in July last year limited his action to 13 regular season games. The 25 year-old was a set to become a hot commodity on the CFL agent market before inking the two-year deal.
“In the end, BC is the only place I wanted to be,” said Brooks. “Beyond the contract stuff, players want to play where they have legitimate opportunities to win championships and this season the belief in our room is that we are that team.”
“Ronnie has been a very steady performer at one of the most difficult positions on the field,” said Lions’ GM and head coach Wally Buono. “Having him under contract along with T.J. Lee, Steven Clarke and Keynan Parker is a very positive starting point for our secondary and makes this a significant signing for our team.”
Yell returns for his fourth year with the Leos and has 43 starts at cornerback with 104 tackles and four career interceptions, three of which have been returned for touchdowns. His 2016 season was cut short in Week 10 when he sustained a foot injury during warm-ups in Toronto, but he has since returned to a full training regimen.
“I’m very happy to be back with the Lions and I’m ready to start that Grey Cup grind,” said Yell from his home in Los Angeles. “Keeping our crew together this year is going to make us a dangerous group. I love the team Wally is building on both sides of the ball and I believe this is going to be a special year for all of us.”
“Marco is an important and underrated part of our offence who we can count on to give us consistent performances,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “His ability to contribute on offence and on special teams makes this signing a very important one for the club.”
Originally joining the Lions as the club’s first-round selection (sixth overall) in the 2010 CFL Draft, the Calgary native enters his eighth season with the Leos and comes off a 2016 season which included career-highs in receiving yards (360), punt returns (22) and punt return yards (232).
The veteran receiver now sits two games shy of 100 for his career and has racked-up 107 receptions for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns. A tireless contributor in the community, Marco earned the CFL’s Tom Pate Award last season.
Finally , the Lions are pleased to announce that international linebacker Tony Burnett has agreed to terms on a contract with the team for the 2017 season.
The one-time Lion who attended training camp with the club in 2014 has spent the past two years as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Through 25 games with the Blue and Gold, the USC grad appeared in 25 games including a full 18-game slate in 2016, recording 33 tackles, 23 special teams stops and a pair forced fumbles.
“We liked Tony a lot a few years ago and we’re very happy to have an opportunity to bring him back,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “There will be plenty of competition to fill the outside linebacker position vacated by Adam Bighill and Tony’s signing makes that competition even better.”