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Bombers are no tweets

Giving up top draft pick for proven non-winner Glenn doesn't make sense at this stage of the game

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The Twitterverse is a living, breathing organism. And just like the people who populate it, there are times when it behaves in strange and mysterious ways.

Like Thursday, for instance, when it suddenly erupted, apropos of nothing, with all kinds of tweets -- most of them emanating from Calgary -- that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders are in negotiations that would see Calgary QB Kevin Glenn shipped to Winnipeg in exchange for the Bombers' second overall draft pick next month.

This is patently false. Here is what is true: The Calgary Stampeders would love to trade Kevin Glenn -- and they have all winter -- to the Bombers in exchange for Winnipeg's top draft pick. And the Bombers have no interest -- and they haven't all winter -- in that deal.

Why it suddenly became a Twitter story, your guess is as good as mine. But the reasons why the Bombers have no interest in that particular deal did come into crystal clear focus Thursday with the release of the CFL Scouting Bureau's final rankings of this year's draft class.

What emerged from that document is that the reason the Bombers have no interest in a tired CFL retread in Glenn (who has proven at every step of his CFL career, including in Calgary's playoff run to the Grey Cup game last year, that he is just good enough to lose) is that unlike Glenn, there are players in this year's draft class that the Bombers truly could build the team's future around.

Three of the top-five prospects in this year's draft class are defensive linemen and two of them -- second-ranked Stefan Charles and third-ranked Linden Gaydosh -- generated a huge buzz at this winter's evaluation camp in Toronto, with some observers saying either man could be the kind of non-import ratio changer on the Bombers defensive line that Doug Brown was for 11 seasons prior to his retirement after the 2011 season.

Play that potential scenario out against bringing the 33-year-old Glenn back to Winnipeg this season to provide an experienced backup to Buck Pierce and it's little wonder Bombers GM Joe Mack ain't buying what Calgary GM John Hufnagel is selling.

It's instructive to remember that Bombers management, and the team's fans, ran Glenn out of town in 2008 after five seasons of watching Glenn demonstrate in a Bombers uniform that for a myriad of reasons, he does not have what it takes to win a Grey Cup.

Yes, Glenn led Calgary to the Grey Cup game last season, putting up numbers in relief of injured Stamps starter Drew Tate that were similar to the ones he posted in his final season in Winnipeg, but with a better TD-interception ratio.

But in the only game that really mattered last year, Glenn found a way to lose yet again, throwing a disastrous interception early in the second quarter of the Grey Cup that Toronto returned for a touchdown to go up 14-3. By the end of the half, it was 24-6 Toronto and the Argos were on their way to a Grey Cup and Glenn was on his way home, again, empty-handed.

Stampeders management, which is expected to go with Tate as their starter and Bo Levi Mitchell as their backup in 2013, are hoping the Bombers are so desperate right now for an experienced backup to the oft-injured Pierce that Mack would be willing to literally mortgage the Bombers' future to plug the hole.

Now, there's no question Glenn is a much more experienced backup than the three backup QBs the Bombers are bringing to mini-camp next week -- fourth-stringer Justin Goltz and CFL rookies Max Hall and Chase Clement.

And there's also not much question, given Pierce's recent injury history, that sooner or later in 2013, the Bombers are going to need a backup quarterback to take some snaps.

But to bring the aging Glenn in now to fill that role would be to simply repeat the same mistakes the Bombers have made for years now, putting a short-term Band-Aid on a long-term quarterback problem -- which is precisely how the Bombers got themselves in their current conundrum to begin with.

And to make matters worse, meeting Calgary's asking price for Glenn would mean they would also have to give up a potential franchise-changing draft pick next month.

Now, one caveat: If Calgary drops their asking price for Glenn -- or, even better, simply cuts him later this spring -- the equation changes dramatically for the Bombers and Glenn becomes a much more palatable option.

But for now, the Bombers have decided they are going to ride Pierce this season as long as the Bombers pivot can carry them, while at the same time hopefully grooming one or more of Hall, Clement and Goltz as the man who will eventually take over the starting role.

It's a gamble, of course. But sometimes the bigger gamble in life is not in taking a shot, but in not taking one.

No, the Bombers don't really know what they have in Goltz, Hall or Clement. But they do know what Calgary has in Glenn -- a man who has played 12 seasons in an eight-team league and is still looking for his first championship.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 19, 2013 C5

History

Updated on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 9:25 AM CDT: adds fact box

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