Big Moe no longer Blue

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

It was a simple but sad farewell.

"My time here is done," offensive lineman Moe Elewonibi confirmed last night.

The popular veteran will leave the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after five solid seasons here and follow former Bomber head coach Dave Ritchie to B.C.

"I had a conversation with (Bomber head coach) Jim (Daley) and he said he wanted me," Elewonibi said after meeting with Bomber GM Brendan Taman yesterday. "And Brendan said he wanted me."

Although Elewonibi was asked to take a pay cut after officially being released on Feb. 14, he does not believe that was the reason for parting ways.

"The offer seemed to be close, but it came down to something else, and I don't really know what," he said. "It's not like I didn't try to be accommodating. Now I'm going to where they want me."

Taman said the situation just came down to "economics and he's checking out his options."

Daley, who had said last week that he wanted Elewonibi back, could not be reached for comment.

Elewonibi, 39, had met with Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono during last week's CFL Congress in Winnipeg.

"Dave (Ritchie) put a bug in his ear and I talked to him for quite awhile in his room," Elewonibi said. "We spoke the same language, and he was honest with me.

"They're not looking for a centre, but a lot of people forget that I used to be a damn good tackle."

Ritchie was hired as B.C.'s defensive co-ordinator last week.

"I had a great time here," said Elewonibi, who was acquired from B.C. in 2000 when he was overcoming an addictions problem. "I thanked them for re-starting my career after some dark days for me, and I'm still going to make Winnipeg my home for a few more years."

But he is leaving a CFL team that failed to make the playoffs last year to a Grey Cup finalist.

"I can think of worse places to go," he said.


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