Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blue not selling the farm

Despite woes, Hall trade, GM Walters not planning big moves

  • Print
Kyle Walters argues acquiring OL Patrick Neufeld for CFL sack leader Alex Hall will be of significant benefit for the Bombers, citing Neufeld's versatility.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Kyle Walters argues acquiring OL Patrick Neufeld for CFL sack leader Alex Hall will be of significant benefit for the Bombers, citing Neufeld's versatility. Photo Store

The temptation must be overwhelming for Winnipeg Blue Bombers acting GM Kyle Walters.

Now the man in charge of the rebuild of a sad-sack lot that is 2-12, has lost four straight and barely still has a pulse, Walters must be resisting the urge to call every one of his counterparts with a simple message:

'EVERYTHING MUST GO! NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED!'

But while Walters pulled the trigger on a significant deal Sunday afternoon by shipping defensive end Alex Hall -- the league's sack leader -- and a second-round pick in the 2014 CFL draft to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for Canadian offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld and a fourth-round pick in 2015, it's not like his phone is ringing off the hook right now.

"There's been no talk," said Walters Monday. "Everything's been focused on this (the Hall trade) and as of now there's nothing else in the works. We've had talks. I've been in contact with all the teams in the past couple of weeks, particularly focusing on Alex Hall, and nothing else has come up.

"And so I can't imagine that in the next 48 hours something miraculous is going to come up that hasn't been discussed in the last two weeks."

Now, while the media in Regina are referring to the Hall trade as 'larceny' for the Riders -- noting, in particular the second-round pick next spring will likely be 11th overall and Neufeld was likely not going to be protected for the Ottawa Redblacks expansion draft in December -- Walters counters with a rational argument of his own.

The Bombers offensive line needs a significant injection of Canadian talent and the 24-year-old Neufeld can play both tackle and guard and started 13 regular-season games and the playoffs last year for the Riders. He broke his leg in camp this season and has been so-so since his return, but got a clean bill of health from the medical staffs of both teams.

Walters said the Bombers had targeted Neufeld as their No. 1 priority heading into free agency last winter before he re-signed with the Riders.

"The thought is, would we have been able to acquire a player of Patrick Neufeld's ability with the second-round pick in this year's draft? The answer is no," said Walters. "With this draft and where we're at, in my opinion with the second-round pick we weren't going to be able to get a player of Patrick Neufeld's ability. It's quite as simple as that."

There are also a number of other factors impacting the chatter prior to the CFL trade deadline, which, unlike that in the NHL, often slips by with zero fanfare. With the Redblacks expansion draft coming in December, teams are reluctant to sign prospective free agents to contract extensions, one of the theories being Ottawa will pass on grabbing players who would hit the market in February.

That applied to Hall -- who has also made no secret of his desire to chase his NFL dream this winter -- and all the other prospective Bomber free agents who may or may not be trade bait. That list includes:

  • Offensive linemen Andre Douglas, Chris Kowalczuk, Steve Morley, Marc Parenteau and Justin Sorensen.
  • Running backs Chad Simpson, Will Ford and Michel-Pierre Pontbriand.
  • Receivers Jade Etienne, Chris Matthews, Akeem Foster and Rory Kohlert.
  • Defensive backs Brandon Stewart, Alex Suber and Dan West.
  • Defensive linemen Kenny Mainor, J.T. Gilmore and Ryan Lucas.
  • Linebackers Pierre-Luc Labbe and Henoc Muamba.
  • Specialists: Mike Renaud (punter) and Chris Cvetkovic (long snapper).

Of that list, Muamba remains the top priority. His agent, Jonathan Hardaway, is apparently pushing possible NFL interest this winter, but Walters said the two sides have at least had conversations recently.

And for those desperate for Walters to land a QB before the deadline, prepare to be disappointed -- although there is a likelihood of a lot of movement before the Ottawa draft.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 8, 2013 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

Kenney lashes out at Manitoba's “campaign of fear” on immigration

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who do you think will win NHL's Calder Trophy for rookie of the year?

View Results

Ads by Google