The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced their final round of cuts on Saturday, and on it included one of the team's high-profile free-agent signings this off-season in wide receiver Kenny Stafford.
Stafford, who inked a two-year deal with the Bombers in January and was expected to compete for a starting role, was one of 12 players to be cut. Winnipeg was interested in signing Stafford prior to the 2016 season, after he excelled with the Grey Cup champion Edmonton Eskimos in 2015. But Stafford passed on Winnipeg to sign a deal with the Montreal Alouettes, where he was released after playing nine games.
Import linebacker Kyrie Wilson, import defensive backs Sam Brown and Chris Greenwood, import receivers Daniel Williams and Gerrard Sheppard, non-import receiver Brendon Thera-Plamondon, import defensive lineman Shayon Green, non-import defensive linemen Rupert Butcher and Ian Marouf and import running back Kendall Roberson were also among the last to be released.
They joined import receiver Justice Liggins, import offensive lineman Trevan Brown, non-import O-lineman Cody Speller, import linebacker Nick Temple and import defensive backs Darnell Walker Jr. and Matt Smalley, all of whom were given their walking papers on Friday, following Thursday night's 38-38 pre-season tie with the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field.
The moves come after the Bombers finished 0-0-2 in the pre-season, with the Winnipeg also tying the Saskatchewan Roughriders in last week’s pre-season opener in Regina. Winnipeg will now wait to play the Riders again in the Queen City when they open their regular season schedule in Week 2 – the Bombers have a Week 1 bye – on July 1.
The Bombers, along with the eight other CFL teams, needed to trim down to a 46-man active roster and a 10-player practice roster by 9 p.m. Saturday. Injured lists don’t need to be set until the day before a team's first game.
These nine players were assigned to the 10-man practice roster:
The following players have been placed on the practice roster:
· National offensive lineman Qadr Spooner
· National receiver Derek Yachison
· National linebacker Frank Renaud
· International defensive lineman Padric Scott
· International linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox
· National kicker Felix Menard-Briere
· National defensive back Abu Conteh
· International receiver TJ Thorpe
· International defensive back Robert Porter