Retired OL looking for deal

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Orlando Bobo is still hoping to make this a pretty short retirement.

Although the import offensive lineman officially filed retirement papers on the eve of Winnipeg Blue Bombers' training camp last week, Bobo still wants to return.

"I'd like to take a run at a Grey Cup," he said from his Dallas, Texas, home yesterday. "I'm just trying to do what's right and what's fair. I'd like to get a long-term contract but I just haven't heard from the Bombers."

Bobo, who was to enter the option year of his contract, filed the papers when Bomber GM Brendan Taman refused to give him the $20,000 raise his agent was demanding.

"I talked to Brendan last Friday and he said, 'You're packing it in?' and I said, 'I've got no choice,'" Bobo said. "He said he was going to call my agent but he hasn't called. People think it's all on me but it's not all on me. I want fans to know that I'm not being stubborn, I'm not being an A-hole.

"Hopefully, we can still get something worked out."

Taman said it was interesting that Bobo called a reporter rather than him.

"I'm not going to get into this game," he said. "I don't deal with Orlando, I deal with his agent."

It did not sound like Taman was about to give either a call, despite Winnipeg's most recent O-line woes.

BEING PATIENT

"I'm not getting frustrated, I'm too busy with my business (real estate) to be frustrated," said Bobo, one of the two best Bomber O-linemen last season. "I'm being patient."

It sounds like Bomber head coach Jim Daley has lost patience with both Bobo and defensive back Ricky Bell, who also filed retirement papers.

"If they have retired, I wish them well in their endeavours," he said. "But if they are holding a pistol to the head of the team, that's unfair to the team. If they haven't retired, they've crossed the line."

Ironically, another O-lineman, Pete Campion, was suspended after he left camp realizing his knee injury would not allow him to make the team.

NEW GUY: The Bombers did, however, welcome a new American O-lineman to camp yesterday. Ryan Bachman answered Taman's SOS and got to town in time for his first CFL training camp at Canad Inns Stadium yesterday morning.

"I got the call about noon," the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Nebraska-Kearney product said. "I was back in Nebraska and had to get my bags packed, scramble around and get to the airport and got here about 11:30 p.m. I basically went to bed, woke up and got a playbook handed to me and they said, 'Let's go to two-a-days.'"

In fact, Bachman had already started to wonder if he had a future in pro football.

"I was just happy when my agent called and said Winnipeg wanted me to come up here," said Bachman, 24. "(Or) I would probably have had to go and get one of them real jobs. I'm just glad to be here."

Bachman attended the Houston Texans' NFL camp last season and most recently failed a tryout at a Kansas City Chiefs' mini-camp.

NOTE: OL Matt Sheridan (head) is expected to get clearance from doctors to practise today, when the players get a break as only one practice is scheduled (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.).


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