WINNIPEG — Barrin Simpson is almost certainly finished with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The veteran linebacker has asked the Blue Bombers for a trade and the club has been shopping him around the league in an attempt to recoup something for the 31-year-old disgruntled defender.
Simpson has been slowed by a turf toe all season and head coach Mike Kelly and defensive co-ordinator Mark Nelson have approached him about a limited role in the next little while and the veteran wants no part of that.
Simpson addressed Winnipeg media following practice on Friday morning.
"I requested to be traded in regards to a disagreement on a position of playing. To generalize it, it was just a disagreement on the decision on the combination the coaches decided to use. It’s just a business disagreement and I felt differently," said Simpson, who is balking at the prospect of having his role diminshed.
"I disagreed with what they told me and felt like the combination they wanted to go with and felt like, hey, I respectfully wanted to be traded."
Simpson believes using 26-year-old Joe Lobendahn as well as 28-year-old Siddeeq Shabazz in the linebacker spots does not give the Bombers the best chance to win.
"That’s how it comes off to me. My question was, ‘Can I have an explanation of what’s going on?’ The explanation that was given to me, I was like, ‘Fine, if that’s the route you want to go. I feel that I’m at the top of my game, I’m playing well and you say I’m playing well so if you want to go with those guys go with those guys,’" explained Simpson.
"I just felt that I’m playing well right now, I’m playing good football and if you feel like I’m not playing well enough — which wasn’t the case, they said I was playing great but they just wanted to try a different combination with the linebackers. I was like, that’s fine."
Simpson acts as his own agent and says the discussions with the club have not been acrimonious.
"I’m not bitter towards the organization. I’m not bitter towards the coaches. That’s how the business goes. Hey, coaches make decisions and those are the decisions you have to live with," said Simpson.
"That’s when I said, ‘I respectfully ask for you guys to trade me.’ Our communication lines... there’s been no fussing, yelling or screaming. There’s been nothing like that. We talked like men."