Travis Lulay signs on for two more years with Lions

 

 
 
 
 
The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency.
 
 

The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency.

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Time isn’t necessarily the enemy for quarterbacks 35 and older. Peyton Manning had one of the greatest seasons of his career — of any quarterback’s career — at 37, when he threw for 55 touchdowns and an NFL record 5,477 yards.

Travis Lulay of the B.C. Lions uses Manning as an example: A quarterback can come back, better than ever, following vexing health issues that threaten to put a dagger into a prolific career. In Manning’s case, it was the neck. In Lulay’s case, shoulder and knee injuries.

“I’m not comparing myself to Peyton Manning,” Lulay said Monday, after the signing of a two-year agreement with the Lions on the eve of Canadian Football League free agency. “But Peyton had a couple of his best seasons after neck surgery. Experience and the mental aspect can make up for whatever physical limitations you might have. Having been injured, I’ve missed out on a lot of reps over the past three seasons. But I can still play physically at a high level, and the mental side can also factor into my play.”

Still almost nine months away from his 33rd birthday, Lulay’s decision to stay with the Lions and not test free agency was decided weeks ago, in his mind, once it became clear that the club wanted him back. While he remains a mentor to Jonathon Jennings, the rookie who took over as starter in the second half of the 2015 season, Lulay is not ready to concede he’s returning strictly in a big brother role or as a coach-in-waiting, since he feels he has more pages to write in his playing career. The CFL’s most outstanding player in 2011 has dressed for 99 regular-season games for the Lions, has a Grey Cup ring and a record of 39-26 in his 65 starts going back to 2009.

“I want to be part of the process of getting us back to where we need to be,” he explained. “If I didn’t feel I could play at a high level physically, if I didn’t feel I could be of service to the team, I wouldn’t be back. Jon knows that, whether you’re the No. 1 quarterback, or the No. 4 quarterback, you always prepare as if you’re playing. If you’re No. 2, that doesn’t change the mindset. If something happens in Week 1 (to the starter), the ball’s in your hands in Week 2.”

“He understands the order (on the depth chart) and he appreciates that the order is fair,” said Lions GM Wally Buono. “But there’s no doubt in my mind, he’s going to compete (for the No. 1 job). Travis is a competitor. That’s what I love about him. For the first time in three years, he feels strong, alive and vibrant. I sense his excitement for training camp. We want to make our quarterback position as strong as we can. We know how competitive this league is. And it starts at the quarterback position.”

mbeamish@postmedia.comTwitter.com/sixbeamers

 
 
 
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The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency.
 

The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency.

 
The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency.
B.C. Lions' quarterback Travis Lulay passes against the Montreal Alouettes during the first half of a CFL football game in Vancouver, B.C., on August 20, 2015. The B.C. Lions re-signed veteran quarterback Travis Lulay on Monday, a day before he was eligible for free agency. Lulay, the CFL's outstanding player in 2011, enters his eighth season with B.C. He's currently third in team history with 16,960 passing yards and 101 touchdown passes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
 
 
 
 
 
 
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