with files from the Canadian Press
TORONTO – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have sent linebacker Zeke Moreno to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in exchange for the rights to Corey Mace and the Bombers' first round draft pick in the 2009 draft.
Moreno is in his second season with Hamilton and was a CFL all-star last season. Prior to joining the Ticats, Moreno, 29, spent time in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers (2001-'04) and Philadelphia Eagles (2005).
The six-foot-two, 246-pound Moreno, who played his college football at USC, had 114 tackles for Hamilton last season and has 53 tackles and two sacks in 2008 for the Ticats.
“Zeke Moreno is one of the CFL’s top linebackers and we needed to make a move to improve our football team,” said Brendan Taman, general manager of the Blue Bombers.
“Zeke will make an immediate impact on our club," he added. "With the addition of Kai Ellis, we can move Kai to rush end, have Zeke start at linebacker and maintain a veteran presence on our defence. Short term, Zeke fills a need because of injuries. Long term, the upside of this young man is tremendous and he has already shown in a short time, that he can be an elite starting linebacker in this league for a long time.”
Both Hamilton and Winnipeg are desperately trying to kick-start teams that are tied for fourth in the East Division with identical 2-8 records.
Last week, the Bombers made a huge deal with the B.C. Lions, sending career rushing leader Charles Roberts to Vancouver for running back Joe Smith, the 2007 CFL rushing leader.
Corey Mace, a native of Port Moody, B.C., is currently in his second season on the practice roster of the NFL's Buffalo Bills.