Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blue have bundle of free agents to deal with

  • Print

THE quarterback situation will be the single biggest issue confronting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this off-season, but it will hardly be the only one.

The club has at least 11 potential free agents, including six starters on defence -- linemen Fernand Kashama, Jason Vega and Bryant Turner, linebacker Marcellus Bowman, defensive back Jonathan Hefney and defensive back/linebacker Johnny Sears.

The good news is that as they cleared out their lockers at Canad Inns Stadium Sunday morning, those players expressed a desire to return in 2013.

Vega said he would like to know who the next defensive co-ordinator will be before he makes his final decision, but he sounded like he's leaning towards returning. "I'd love to be back here in this city with this organization, but there's a lot of things that have to get figured out in the meantime."

Sears said he'd be interested in seeing if he has any NFL opportunities, but said he'd be happy to come back. "NFL is not always the right case. And I don't have a problem in coming back and giving it another run with these guys... The locker-room here is great. It wouldn't be hard for me to come back."

Turner was more unequivocal about his desire to return. "I love it here. The people are nice. We have a really good team, whether the record will show it or not. We've got a really close team. I think good things are going to happen for Winnipeg soon, especially with the new stadium."

Kashama also had nothing but good things to say about returning. "We've got a good thing going here... I feel like I fit in good with the system here."

Bowman enthusiastically endorsed Winnipeg as a place to live -- "I love Winnipeg, I really do" -- and he said he hates contract negotiations and has no desire to get into long and drawn out discussions. "I just hope that whatever decision is made is made in a timely manner. I don't want to drag it out. Hopefully, I can get whatever deal with whoever done soon... I just want to get the process over with and know where I'm going to be and how I will set my mind for the future."

Hefney said last week that he also would like to entertain NFL offers this winter, but will come back to Winnipeg if nothing materializes down south.

Both Vega and Turner said they'd be really happy to play again under Casey Creehan, who was previously the Bombers linebackers coach and would be a leading candidate for the vacant defensive co-ordinator job next year if he gets fired by Hamilton.

Creehan was the Ticats defensive co-ordinator this season and could be out of work soon after a season in which the Ticats defence struggled mightily. Burke and Creehan go back a long way and the former might be willing to overlook Creehan's struggles in Hamilton as he surveys the landscape for a defensive co-ordinator to replace himself.

With Creehan still under contract in Hamilton, Burke has brushed aside any discussion of bringing him to Winnipeg. But Burke did have an answer when he was asked on Sunday if he'd like to bring back all the potential free agents on his defence.

"I would think we would want to bring most of them back. But the likelihood of bringing everyone back is not a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination. There might be one or two slip away. But certainly we're going to make an effort," said Burke.

Other potential Bombers free agents this winter are slotback Clarence Denmark, running backs Chris Garrett and Carl Volny, backup quarterback Justin Goltz and defensive back Deon Beasley.

Garrett, who was expected to start at tailback this year after a strong finish to the 2011 season, missed the entire year with a torn Achilles tendon but said he'd like to re-sign and take on the formidable task of challenging Chad Simpson -- who took over for Garrett and rushed for over 1,000 yards -- in training camp next summer.

"I started my career here and I want to play here as long as possible. But it's a business and I know that."

Denmark laughed when asked if he'd be seeking a raise in his negotiations. "A raise would be nice, but really I just want to play football. And to play here. I've played here for three years and it's been good to me."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 5, 2012 C3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bombers This Week: Huge game against Lions

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.

View More Gallery Photos

 

Poll

Do you think Ray Rice should be given a lifetime ban from the NFL?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google