Bobo diggin' for gold

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Orlando Bobo does not clown around when it comes to cash.

Although the import offensive lineman is still under contract to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Bobo has threatened to retire if he does not get a little extra coin.

"I'm in my option year but my plan was to play up there for one year, then come home," Bobo said from his Dallas home yesterday. "It's a cut-throat business and you've got to get all you can while you can. And with me being 31, I'm in my prime.

"I'm just waiting to see what's going to happen."

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Northeast Louisiana product, who played for three NFL teams, was considered one of Winnipeg's better O-linemen last season.

"I liked it up there but I was really playing for fun because that's my passion," Bobo said. "You should get paid more. But please don't make me out to be a bad guy."

Bobo had been out of football for about two years when the Bombers came calling and he likely made in the $40,000-$45,000 range last season, far below the cheques he had been cashing in the NFL.

Bomber GM Brendan Taman said Bobo has made his views known through other sources and he has been referred to his agent. But Taman has not heard from that agent recently.

"Right now, he's under contract to us and every guy in his option year has a commitment to come back," Taman said. "I chuckle sometimes because these guys act like they are free agents when they're not."

ROBERTS EXTENSION? On the other hand, Taman is quite willing to extend the contract of CFL all-star tailback Charles Roberts.

"Charlie's obviously one of our better players, there's no doubt about that, and he's one of the first guys who will get an offer to extend his contract," said Taman, who has discussed the possibility with Roberts several times this winter. "He understands where we're coming from and he's not about to hold out or anything like that."

Roberts was unavailable for comment.

"But my first priority would be (free agent defensive linemen) Jon Oosterhuis and Tyson St. James because (Roberts) is already under contract," Taman said.

Those negotiations, however, have come to a standstill.

"I haven't pursued either one lately," Taman said. "It's currently in my hands but, when you come right down to it, there's nothing to talk about."

FLUTIE TALK: But there would be lots to talk about if quarterback Doug Flutie returned to the CFL. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are reportedly pursuing the high-priced pivot.

"That would be exciting," Taman conceded. "He can still play but, if he's not in Winnipeg, I don't want him in the league."

So then, why not chase the multiple CFL MVP?

"We've got some college kids on our neg list who would be more economical," he replied.

EXPANDING: On the other hand, Taman would welcome Halifax to the CFL fold.

"Adding a 10th team to the league would be great, and would clear up a lot of things," he said. "And Halifax would be super.

"Yeah, the travel could be an issue. We're fairly central here but travelling all the way to the East Coast would be challenging for Vancouver."


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