Canadian receiver Chris Bauman, a product of Brandon, is about to become a very popular man — if he isn't already.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are confirming that Bauman — selected first overall in the 2007 Canadian Draft — was placed on waivers Monday in advance of the Feb. 15th free-agent deadline when his contract was set to expire.
Bauman is on the Bomber wish list in free agency as they hope to beef up their Canadian content and the release by the Ticats could give them an advantage in the free-agent bidding — or at least, first dibs — if they were to claim him on waivers. Winnipeg would have the first right to claim Bauman as the Bombers had the worst record in the CFL in 2010 and they would have exclusive rights to negotiate with him over the next few weeks before his contract expired.
A 6-foot-4, 212-pound target who still has tremendous upside but has never blossomed into the player the Ticats hoped, the 26-year-old product of Vincent Massey in Brandon figures to draw a lot of interest in the free-agent market, especially with the retirements of Ryan Thelwell in Calgary and Ben Cahoon in Montreal. The Alouettes' signing of Danny Desriveaux on Monday also took another Canadian pass-catching target off the market.
Interestingly, the Ticats have also released Canadian left tackle Alex Gauthier and he, too, would be of interest to the Bombers. Gauthier, who played for the Bombers in 2007-2008, is 34 but is durable and a potential ratio-changer for Winnipeg as they started two imports at the tackle positions in 2010 — Andre Douglas and Kelly Butler.