We will always have Paris
After struggling to find playing time throughout the 2011-12 season, the thought of seeing Paris Jackson in a B.C. Lions uniform this summer was pretty far-fetched for most fans, the Leos and even Jackson himself.
With a diminishing role in the Lions offensive plan due to injuries, Jackson found himself playing in a limited role last season, posting numbers that were a far cry from what people have come to expect from the Vancouver native.
Following a five year run from 2005-2009 in which he had multiple trips to the end zone and averaged 66 receptions during that period, Jackson saw only a single visit to the “house” in both 2010 and 2011 for the BC Lions.
Add to that, recording only 7 receptions in 2011, what would make the team want to resign the nine year vet?
Consider the fact that even with the significant decrease in playing time, Jackson remained the constant professional along the sidelines and on the practice field, mentoring Akeem Foster and Shawn Gore.
The constant professional, when his number 19 was called, Jackson proved to Wally Buono that the old dog still had some tricks up his sleeve, recording a 51 yard touchdown run in front of 30,000 fans on Halloween weekend.
Not to be outdone, Jackson found time on the gridiron during the B.C. Lions Grey Cup victory, posting two catches for 43 yards, which was good enough for fourth among receivers that day.
As the Lions enter into the Mike Benevides era, having a familiar face within the ranks goes a long way towards making the Lions favorites to repeat as Grey Cup Champions.
“Paris has always been a very good receiver and in recent years he has developed into both a leader and mentor for our younger receivers,” said Wally Buono, the team’s vice-president of football operations and GM.
With his knee injuries behind him, Jackson knows that although he may continue to fill a reserve role, he is more than ready, willing and able to step up to provide the team with whatever they need.
While figures of the extension have yet to be released, odds were high that he could have received a better offer and more prominent role with another club, the Lions and fans know that the team made the right move in keeping Jackson in the only professional uniform he has known.