Stamps rub White out

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

George White may no longer be part of the Calgary Stampeders but that doesn't mean he can't play in a linebacker foursome one last time.

White, the longest-serving member of the Stamps defence, was cut by the CFL team yesterday but still joined the rest of the former 'Fabulous Four' for their annual pre-Labour Day golf trip to Banff.

John Grace, Scott Coe and Brian Clark have one last hurrah with White before he starts looking for work elsewhere in the league.

"We'll have some fun," White told the Sun last night before unloading his clubs. "Hopefully I'll be going to work somewhere else in the next few days."

The Stampeders practised without White for the first time yesterday as the 2005 defensive tackles leader cleaned out his locker.

After being benched in favour of Khalid Abdullah in the victory over the Montreal Alouettes last week, it was clear the Stamps were going with a youth movement in the linebacking corps.

Calgary tried to trade White, who joined the team in 2003 and has played 59 games in Calgary, but he chose not to help them and rather seek a job as a free agent.

White has plenty of football left in him, as he proved when returning from an off-season Achilles injury that threatened his career.

"They made a business decision, so I'll have to make a business decision," said White, who believes there will be several teams interested in him.

"It's an adjustment on all our parts. You don't make the decisions on who is staying there ... I have to roll with the punches because they're giving them."

Even on a three-game winning streak, the Stamps aren't standing pat with personnel and aren't holding onto anybody for sentimental reasons.

Grace, the 2005 CFL defensive player of the year, is also being benched in favour of Cornelius Anthony. He could be released or traded before the Sept. 19 deadline, while second-year running back David Allen was also released yesterday.

Several new faces are expected in Calgary over the next few days due to NFL cuts.

With the salary management system in place next season, the Stamps need to shed some extra dollars in areas where they can and Abdullah and Anthony fit into those categories.

White will still collect his paycheque from the Stamps for this season because of his veteran status and the games he has played.

If the 28-year-old catches on with another team, the Stamps are off the hook but none of that factored into head coach Tom Higgins' decision.

"We didn't want him practising knowing he would never get back on the field," Higgins said, adding the time has come to prepare the replacements for a playoff run.

"(Anthony and Abdullah) will only continue to get better by taking reps. They've made some good plays and had some bad plays but that's to be expected. Their upside is too good that we'll let them keep on playing."

White said he was never told outright he wasn't good enough or if salary was a concern but he understands the business.

"They didn't give me any real reason, just that I wasn't in their future plans," White said. "I've been here for four years. I have a lot of good friends here. I wish them the best.

"They are all professionals and will have to deal with (playing without him). We've all played with guys and lost some good friends along the way.

"They will handle it like professionals."


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