June 18, 2016

Paring down the roster

Winnipeg Blue Bombers before the pre-season game against the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place in Ottawa, ON on Monday June 13, 2016. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

The axe came down hard on some would-be Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday, and it cost three veterans dearly.

The Bombers released nine players outright, including Canadian cornerback Matt Bucknor, and offensive lineman Jace Daniels and receiver/returner Justin Veltung, both imports.

Also let go were defensive lineman Emmanuel Dieke, running back Carlos Anderson, receivers Julian Talley and Fred Williams, defensive back Jonte Green and 2016 draft pick Zach Intzandt.

Released, but moved to the practice roster were defensive lineman Louie Richardson and fullback Tim Cronk, both Canadians, and defensive linemen Padric Scott and Adrian Hubbard, offensive lineman Manase Foketi, receivers Thomas Mayo and Gerrard Sheppard, and running back Tim Flanders.

The club will announce its injured list on Thursday in advance of Friday’s season opener at Investors Group Field against the Montreal Alouettes. That list will include receiver Addison Richards, offensive lineman Jeff Keeping, one of Dominique Davis or Bryan Bennett (as the roster moves announced did not include a quarterback), and likely kicker Sergio Castillo, who was not among the cuts.

Matt BucknorBucknor, who turns 31 later this month, was the biggest surprise of the bunch. He has started every game over the past two seasons, but with the Bombers now starting five imports in the secondary – and with younger Canadians Derek Jones, Brendan Morgan and Taylor Loffler all on the roster – he became a victim of the younger/cheaper approach.

Daniels started nine games over the past two years for the Bombers and opened last season as a starter at right tackle before injuring his leg. Veltung, meanwhile, started four games last year and saw part-time duty as a kick returner while Troy Stoudermire recovered from injury.

The moves, as painful as they are to management who has to deliver the news, are also a celebration for those who have made the team, both veterans and newcomers.

Among the new faces:

  • Running back Andrew Harris – the Winnipeg product and former B.C. Lions star
  • Defensive tackle Euclid Cummings – signed in free agency after playing last year with the Toronto Argonauts
  • Defensive tackle Keith Shologan – the veteran Canadian who set a career high in sacks last year in Ottawa
  • Kicker Justin Medlock – the most accurate kicker in CFL history
  • Receiver Weston Dressler – the long-time Saskatchewan Roughrider and future hall of famer
  • Receiver Ryan Smith – who came over, like Dressler, from the Riders
  • Offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick – has started 18 games over the last two years with B.C. and Saskatchewan and was working at left guard with the No. 1 offence on Friday
  • Defensive back Macho Harris – another Riders cast-off, who will line up at both linebacker and safety
  • Running back/fullback Paschal Lochard – comes aboard via the Lions, just like Harris
  • Offensive lineman Jeff Keeping – the long-time Toronto Argonaut will be moved officially to the injured list after suffering a knee injury in the first preseason game
  • Receiver/returner Quincy McDuffie – made the club after a spectacular training camp
  • Defensive end Trent Corney – the Bombers first pick, 9th overall, in the 2016 CFL Draft
  • Offensive lineman Michael Couture – selected 10th overall in the 2016 CFL Draft
  • Defensive back Taylor Loffler – selected 18th overall in the 2016 CFL Draft
  • Linebacker Shayne Gauthier – selected 28th overall in the 2016 CFL Draft
  • Receiver Jace Davis – the former Northern Colorado star that has had looks from Baltimore, Houston and Denver
  • Defensive end Shayon Green – the former University of Miami star that had shots with both the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers before coming north to the CFL
  • Offensive lineman Travis Bond – a man mountain (6-7, 356) who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings
  • Defensive back Kevin Fogg – has had stints in Pittsburgh and Miami; former star at Liberty University


The Bombers are not on the practice field this weekend as management made its roster moves and allowed those who survived the cuts to find accommodation for the season. The team, 2016 edition, will be back on the field Monday morning.


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