It was not like they were planning to open up their pocketbooks to sign the most expensive free agents out there anyways.
But the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be limited in their spending because their revenues were down this season for various reasons.
"Here in Winnipeg, we didn't do a great job with money coming in, thanks to a bad season, bad weather (for home games), too many injuries and too many expenses that led to too many headaches," club GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "We can't give out more money than we take in. We've got to be smart in how we distribute that money. We've just got to make sure we get the right guys."
That doesn't mean the Bombers won't be active in the free agent market but it does mean they will not risk gobs of money on players who may not pan out. Nor does it mean that they will always be out-bid for free agents. Taman will be looking for receivers, offensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs this winter.
"But the key is keeping our own good guys," Taman said.
Toward that end, Taman says he can convince about half of the 13 players about to become free agents to stay. Others he may not want back anyway. Defensive lineman Joe Fleming and offensive lineman Matt Sheridan are among the priorities on that list to keep.
TONGUE-IN-CHEEK: Think Saskatchewan GM Roy Shivers is still bitter about losing to B.C. after that time clock fiasco, forcing the Roughriders to play on the frozen tundra in Edmonton? Not a chance.
"I have changed my tune and I love Edmonton," Shivers told the Regina Leader-Post. "Commonwealth is a great place to play football. I don't want nothin' negative going on. I'm going to be sitting in the crowd with our 'Rider fans, wearing my toque and a green jacket, maybe with a flask.
"It's the best stadium in the CFL, it's got the best field and the best clock -- next to B.C.'s."
HASHMARKS: Former Bomber WR Antonio Brown has just signed with Washington ... Rumour has it that the Renegades could be interested in Jim Daley as a replacement for head coach Joe Paopao if he does not become the Winnipeg head man. Edmonton assistant Greg Marshall has also been mentioned ... A distributor in Germany has picked up the rights to the Grey Cup Game and, thanks to U.S. Armed Forces radio and TV, the game will be seen in 176 countries around the world ... Touchdown Manitoba will host a social at Ottawa's Lansdowne Park Salons on Nov. 19 (1-6 p.m.) for fans attending Grey Cup week.