WINNIPEG — Buck Pierce said his farewells on Monday before leaving the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for a return to his former team.
The Bombers traded Pierce on Sunday to the B.C. Lions in exchange for Canadian receiver Akeem Foster.
Speaking to the media for over 15 minutes, Pierce thanked the fans and Blue Bombers for his time in Winnipeg, which he called his home. Pierce said he hopes to return one day and be a part of the organization that signed him in 2010 in some aspect.
“I was given an opportunity when a lot of people didn’t give me an opportunity to be a part of something that was great. I’m truly blessed to have had the opportunity to don the Blue Bomber uniform for four seasons. Football aside, it’s been a great thing for me to be here in this city and be involved in this community,” Pierce said.
As for his role with the Lions — Pierce couldn’t speak on that just yet, but did say he was surprised to be welcomed back by Lions’ GM Wally Buono, who he previously played for before coming to Winnipeg.
“I know he (Buono) really sees the value of leadership and veteran influence,” Piece added. “He understands what it takes to be successful and how to put the pieces in place. I’m excited for my opportunity to go back.”
The 31-year-old has been a popular player in the community, making numerous public appearances and supporting worthwhile causes, as well as getting involved with business ventures such as Danny’s BBQ Smokehouse & Buck’s Sports Lounge on Ellice Avenue.
Pierce made 31 starts over four seasons, completing 486 passes for 6,320 yards and 25 touchdowns against 31 interceptions. He also helped take the Bombers to the 2011 Grey Cup — a game they lost to the Lions 34-23.
The trade was triggered by Blue Bombers acting general manager Kyle Walters, who has been making his presence known in the football club’s front office since August in a number of recent player signings. Following Pierce’s late Monday morning media availability, the Bombers announced the acquisition of non-import offensive lineman Marc Parenteau and a 2014 third round pick from the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for non-import running back Anthony Woodson and a 2014 5th round pick.
Pierce will arrive in Vancouver on Tuesday and wear number 11 for the Lions.