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Samuels out in Bomber makeover

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/2/2009 (4126 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The extreme makeover of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has cost Stanford Samuels a job in the secondary and landed work for two new linebackers.

The club announced this afternoon it has released Samuels, a versatile corner-halfback who spent parts of three seasons in a Bomber uniform.

"I learned from my lessons before and you shouldn’t speak out of emotion after something happens," said Samuels, who spoke out following his release from the Edmonton Eskimos last June and was critical of the Bombers when he left for Alberta in free agency two winters ago. "This has been in the works for a while so it’s not like this is news to me. You always have to understand that this is a business and, at times, the business is a little questionable."

Samuels said he was due a bonus from the Bombers before the Feb. 15th free-agent deadline and surmised that it may have been a factor in his release. He appeared in nine games for the club last year after arriving from Edmonton, registering 31 tackles, tying for the team lead with two forced fumbles while intercepting two passes — he insists all while working on a sore knee.

"From my conversation (with the Bombers) this wasn’t about my play," Samuels said. "Coach Kelly and I didn’t have much contact in Edmonton. Our rapport was pretty good. I played hurt last year, no one knew that, but I had surgery on my knee after the season. I just saw a doctor last week and he said I’m ahead of schedule. But the club wants to protect itself and I understand that."

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, home of former Bomber defensive coordinator Greg Marshall, may be interested in the 28-year-old Florida State product.

Meanwhile, the Bombers beefed up at the linebacker position with the addition of two new imports: Roderick Johnson and Bryan Wilson.

Johnson (6-3, 255, Oklahoma State) comes north to Winnipeg after a stellar four year college career at OSU where he played middle linebacker in 2005 and 2006 before switching to defensive end in 2007, his senior year.

"He’s a big guy that’s quick, can play end or linebacker, and can make a lot of plays on defence for us," said head coach Mike Kelly in a press release.

Wilson (6-2, 253, Morgan State) was on the 2007 All-MEAC all-star team after registering 50 tackles, and led his team with seven sacks and six forced fumbles.

He signed with the NFL’s Washington Redskins as a rookie free agent after going undrafted.

"We like the type of player Bryan is," said Kelly. "He’s shown in college that he can get to the quarterback and put pressure on. He’s a big hitter and I can’t wait to see what he can do in camp."

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