CFL players across Canada are casting their ballots today on a new collective bargaining agreement, including here in Winnipeg.
But what the result will be of today’s online balloting -- and when it will be announced -- were questions Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFLPA player representative Glenn January said he wasn’t in a position to answer Thursday afternoon following his team’s practice at Investors Group Field.
"Wrong department. I’m in men's shoes, you’re looking for women’s lingerie," January quipped to reporters.
"I don’t know -- whenever it gets out on Twitter."
Players must complete online balloting by 4 p.m. CT. At least six teams must vote in favour of the new deal with the CFL in order for it to be ratified. The owners are scheduled to vote on Friday.
All the Bombers players -- including rookies -- are eligible to vote. That’s the same scenario in seven other CFL cities, with the only exception being in Montreal where Quebec labour law says rookies are ineligible.
The general concensus is the inclusion of rookies in the balloting makes the deal more likely to be ratified.
January said he had no prediction on what the result will be in Winnipeg. "I’d prefer not to speculate on that, just because the polls are open and the players are still voting and I wouldn’t want to do anything to sway them one way or the other."
Earlier Thursday, the Bombers announced they had released offensive lineman Tyson Pencer, who former GM Joe Mack raised eyebrows across the league when he drafted him third overall in the 2012 draft.
Pencer missed the entire 2012 season with an injury and started just two games in 2013. His release today confirms his status as one of Mack’s more egregious draft busts.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said that the Bombers coaching staff decided to cut Pencer after seeing him play in Monday’s pre-season 24-22 loss to the Toronto Argonauts at Investors Group Field.
Asked if there was a problem with Pencer’s attitude or talent level, O’Shea only answered one-half of the question. "No, he’s got the attitude. He’s fine," said O’Shea.
The Bombers also on Thursday released another draft bust from the Mack regime -- defensive back Kris Robertson, who was drafted 11th overall in 2013 but whose entire body of work for the Bombers consisted of a lone appearance in Monday’s pre-season game.
The Bombers on Thursday also released imports DL Louis Nzegwu, DL Stafford Gatling and OL Quentin Saulsberry.
The Bombers have to get their roster down to 65 players by Sunday. The club was back on the field at IGF Thursday morning, preparing for their final pre-season game this Saturday in Calgary.
NOTED... There was a brief fight during practice on Thursday -- linemen Jarvis Jones and Kashawn Fraser put up their dukes -- but the altercation was broken up before any punches landed.