Tee time for Bombers

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Truth to tell, management spent a lot of time agonizing over the future of a certain pivot with stupendous potential over the winter.

First, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers worried that Tee Martin might return to the NFL during that CFL window open for players entering their option years to hop the border. Then, when they wanted to negotiate a contract extension, they could not find him. It seems the elusive quarterback had moved and did not leave a new telephone number.

When the Bombers acquired Spergon Wynn from B.C., they started to breathe a little easier. But when training camp got closer, Bomber GM Brendan Taman decided that he had better hang on to Stanley Jackson -- just in case.

Martin was one of the last Bombers to come to town because his flight was delayed. But the ex-NFL QB was here for the start of training camp at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday morning. And he has agreed to terms on an extension.

"When it was time to talk, we got in touch with each other and we got something done," Martin said. "I haven't signed yet but we've agreed to a new contract."

Taman said they are still ironing out the details.

"But we're very close," he said, adding that he is also in talks with quarterbacks Kevin Glenn and Wynn.

That means that Martin can now concentrate on learning more about the intricacies of the CFL game.

"I feel a lot better now," said the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Tennessee product. "I've been watching film of CFL games all off-season because I was anticipating coming back here to play. I know the city, the weather. I know a lot more teammates that I didn't know last year when I came.

"And it's training camp. It gives me a chance to be a part of the original chemistry of the team, as opposed to coming in in Week 10 and everyone's already developed. They all know each other and they don't know you. So right now, I get a chance to meet the young guys, the veterans and start from the beginning."

Martin, 26, arrived last September after getting cut by the Oakland Raiders and dressed for seven games, although he saw no action.

However, his late arrival put Martin behind the other quarterbacks because he missed team meetings.

"Tee threw the ball very well but he didn't know what we were doing in terms of language and cadence," said head coach Jim Daley, who expects Martin to learn those things very quickly.

Martin, meanwhile, was greeted by Glenn and Wynn.

"You want to have as many good pitchers as you can get on the pitching staff and right now we seem to have three pretty good ones," he said.

Also in camp are Russ Michna and University of Manitoba Bisons product Jon Hooton. But Jackson has been cut. Jackson, however, has yet to be told that.

"Am I released?" he asked yesterday. "I haven't heard from Brendan yet so, I don't know if I have been released. And it's hard to get another spot because camps have their rosters full."


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