December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers deny a report that they have made a contract offer to Chase Clement, a former record-setting quarterback at Rice University who walked out on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009, saying the CFL "wasn't the game I wanted to play."
While the Bombers have had discussions with Clement, team spokesman Darren Cameron said the 26-year-old NCAA record-holder has not worked out for the Bombers and has not been offered a contract.
The Bombers held workouts in the U.S. for three quarterbacks last week and are known to be in discussions with at least two others, including Clement. But Cameron said no contract offers have been made to any of them and Bombers GM Joe Mack would make no formal comments on Clement or any of the other quarterbacks the team has had discussions with until one has been formally signed.
Joseph Duarte, the Rice University beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, tweeted Monday night that Clement "has an offer on the table from the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers."
Clement has a bizarre history with the CFL. Signed to a two-year deal by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 2, 2009, he showed up for training camp and lasted the grand total of one practice in Hamilton before quitting on June 6, 2009 and returning home to Texas.
At the time, Clement told the Houston Chronicle's Jerome Solomon that the CFL just wasn't to his liking and he decided to return home.
"I just did not feel like it was the best situation for me," Clement said about his two days in Hamilton. "I prayed about it and came to the conclusion it wasn't the place I needed to be.
"The rules there are different, the game is different; just not the game I grew up playing and loving. It wasn't the game I wanted to play."
Clement told the Chronicle at the time that he was leaving football behind and had taken a job with a financial services company.
But his retirement was short-lived. He played for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL the following year, worked out for the Houston Texans in late 2011 and also had workouts last winter with the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Clement and former Rice wide receiver Jarett Dillard hold the NCAA Division Divison I record for career touchdowns between a quarterback and receiver with 51 and Clement is also tied with former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart for career NCAA touchdown passes with 99.
Clement joins a long list of quarterbacks the Bombers have expressed interest in this winter as Mack tries to find a solution to the instability the team had at the starting quarterback position in 2012 due to a series of injuries to Buck Pierce and mostly ineffective play by his backups.
Mack confirmed to the Free Press late last week he has also had discussions this winter with former Arizona Cardinals QB Max Hall and former LSU QB Jarrett Lee. There were also multiple published reports this week that the Bombers have also worked out former Louisville Cardinals QB Brian Brohm.
Meanwhile, sources said this week that the Edmonton Eskimos have been shopping former Bomber -- and native Winnipegger -- Don Oramasionwu around the league.
Oramasionwu (6-2, 289) grew up in Winnipeg, played for the University of Manitoba Bisons and then played three seasons at defensive tackle for the Bombers between 2009-11.
Mack didn't make much effort to re-sign him after the 2011 season and Oramasionwu signed as a free agent with Edmonton, where he had the best season of his career in 2012, recording 25 tackles and five sacks in 18 games.
Sources say the Bombers were among the teams Edmonton approached recently about trading Oramasionwu, but nothing immediately came of their initial overture.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 20, 2013 D4