Bombers blue as Ray picks Esks

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

First, they lost the multi-team bidding war for his services yesterday.

Now, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have to play against quarterback Ricky Ray this CFL season.

Ray re-joined the Edmonton Eskimos, who had given him his CFL start, after the NFL's New York Jets released him.

"The level of play in the West just went up," said Bomber GM Brendan Taman. "We were in the running for awhile but Edmonton obviously wanted him badly."

Speculation is that Ray signed for about $460,000 per annum, which was likely too rich for the Bomber blood.

KHARI STILL UNDER CONTRACT

And people are already wondering aloud what will happen to former Bomber quarterback Khari Jones, who was signed as insurance in case Jason Maas could not recover in time from off-season shoulder surgery.

"From what I heard, Jason Maas can't even throw a football and Khari is still under contract," Taman said.

Both Toronto and Hamilton were also reportedly interested in Ray.

Rumour has it that the Argonauts may be willing to make a deal to acquire Maas once he is healthy. Maas had told Sun Media that his shoulder was at 75% during Damon Allen's Quarterback Challenge in Toronto on the weekend (Maas was there but did not participate).

All of this must have Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn breathing a trifle easier. Glenn, however, could not be reached for comment.

Taman, meanwhile, is still pursuing a U.S. college quarterback.

WYNN WINS: New Bomber QB Spergon Wynn, who won two events, was named the Best of the Best at Allen's skills competition held to raise funds for the Kids Help Phone charity. Glenn, his Bomber teammate who won the passing accuracy drill, was the runner-up.

"I was lucky to hit the targets at the right time," Wynn, a last-minute replacement, said in a release. "It's nice to feel like I belong with those guys."

Glenn was also a half-yard short of winning the longest-throw contest, which Saskatchewan's Nealon Greene took with a toss of 73.5 yards.

That is all very nice but ...

"I don't put a lot of credence into gimmicks," Taman said. "I mean, were they blitzed? I'm happy they did well, don't get me wrong. But just because the other guys didn't win doesn't mean they aren't good quarterbacks. But it does say that the guy we traded for (Wynn) showed he had some skills."

Portions of the event will be shown on The Score, starting next month.

More importantly, Wynn -- who was acquired from B.C. -- and Glenn roomed together in Toronto.

"They got to know each other and got along great, which is good," Taman said.

HASHMARKS: Taman offered to extend the contract of veteran DB Ricky Bell, who is entering his option year, but is still awaiting a final answer ... Taman is having the same kind of luck with QB Tee Martin, another option-year guy ... QB Tom Denison, who had been in the Bomber training camp last year, has been working out with some Tiger-Cats in Hamilton and is still seeking a CFL tryout somewhere. Denison, who spent two weeks in the AFL2, is getting no bites from Hamilton.


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