The Winnipeg Blue Bombers abruptly released import receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris this morning.
"It became evident throughout the course of the season that TJ was struggling with his position with the team," Bombers GM Joe Mack said in a statement. "With our club preparing for this crucial game Sunday, it became clearer that he was having difficulty coming to terms with the challenges of limited playing time. Therefore, this difficult decision was made today. Although regrettable, we feel that this was in the best interest of both the organization and TJ Harris, and thank him for his efforts put forth throughout the past two seasons."
Team sources said there was no single major incident this week that led to Jeffers-Harris being released. Rather, today’s move was described as the cumulative result of a long list of violations of team policies by a disgruntled player, including a string of late appearances at team functions and missed meetings.
Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice didn’t have much to say about the release following practice at Canad Inns Stadium today, but what he did say was blunt. "All I say to that is that we released him for violation of team rules. It’s not the first time it’s happened and so we just decided to go in a different direction. At this crucial time of the year, I think everyone’s focus should be on winning a championship.
"So I think the best interests of everybody, including TJ, is to release him."
Jeffers-Harris lost his starting job with the Bombers in August and has played just once since. Playing in place of an injured Greg Carr, Jeffers-Harris made one catch for 13 yards in a losing effort against the Calgary Stampeders in the final regular-season game of the seaon.
Carr has since healed and is expected to reclaim his starting job this weekend in the East Final. And with non-import receiver Kito Poblah also returning from injury to provide depth, there was not much chance Jeffers-Harris was going to play this weekend.
There were also two other pieces of Bombers news on Thursday. To no one’s surprise, LaPolice made it official that Buck Pierce will be the Bombers starting quarterback. "Sure, let’s declare him," LaPolice laughed when asked, yet again, whether he was declaring Pierce as his starter. "Buck’s good, he should be fine to go."
Meanwhile, the Bombers announced they have now sold out Sunday’s East Final, but the club is opening up about 500 temporary seats that they are now selling for $35 apiece.