The Buck Pierce Era is over in Winnipeg. A guy who fell in love with the city and was about to lay down roots here has been traded back to the team he left to move to Winnipeg, the B.C. Lions.
Sunday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers acquired non-import receiver Akeem Foster from the BC Lions in exchange for Pierce.
Pierce signed with the Bombers in April of 2010 and made 31 starts over four seasons, completing 486 passes for 6,320 yards, 25 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.
“Buck has been a true warrior and a consummate professional during his time Winnipeg and we sincerely thank him for his four years of service to our organization,” said acting General Manager, Kyle Walters. “In Akeem, we are getting a veteran Canadian receiver who, at age 26, is still entering the prime of his career. His presence immediately helps upgrade our non-import talent on our roster.”
The Bombers communications department provided the following biography of Foster:
Foster (6-4, 212, St. Francis Xavier, DOB: March 20, 1987 in Ajax, Ontario) was selected by the BC Lions in the fourth round (24th overall) of the 2010 CFL Draft and became a mainstay in the Lions’ receiving corps over the next two seasons, recording 61 receptions for 949 yards and nine touchdowns in 32 starts. Over the course of his career, Foster has dressed for 43 games and won a Grey Cup championship with the Lions in 2011, catching one pass for 12 yards in the victory. His finest game came on September 2, 2011 when he caught eight passes for 144 yards and took home the league’s Canadian Player of the Week honours.
Buck James Pierce was born in Hutchinson, Kan., but grew up in Crescent City, Cal., right on the Pacific Coast. He played college ball at New Mexico State and graduating in 2005, signed as a free agent with the B.C. Lions and was almost instantly outstanding. However, he also got hammered in the pocket and during his five seasons in Vancouver, he was sidelined by concussions and injuries to his shoulder, ribs, hand and ankle.
He was released by B.C. after the 2009 season and signed in early 2010 by the Bombers. But playing in Winnipeg was no picnic. The Bombers had a marginal offensive line and in his first season, he injured his knee and then dislocated his elbow.
In 2011, he was sensational. He had career-highs in starts (16), attempts (411), completions (261), passing yards (3,348) and rushing yards (324). He was named Player of the Week twice and with a solid defense, guided the team to the 99th Grey Cup where he threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-23 loss to B.C.
He also won the Bombers’ Ed Kotowich Good Guy Award, an honor that is presented annually to a Blue Bombers player for excellence in combining football ability, team camaraderie and extraordinary effort in the community. The award honors former Blue Bomber offensive lineman Ed Kotowich and there could not have been a more deserving winner than Pierce.
Unfortunately, injuries caught up to Buck again in 2012. He missed eight games with a knee injury and two more with head and shoulder problems. He did his best, but Joey Elliott and Alex Brink spent much of the season at quarterback.
This year, he has been hurt for much of the season and was dealt to B.C. on Sunday. He still owns a business in Winnipeg, but there is no assurance that he will remain in the city.