Windows open for Walls

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

The CFL's rookie of the year is attracting plenty of interest south of the border.

Gavin Walls, a defensive end who led the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with 12 sacks in 2005, worked out for the NFL's New York Jets last Thursday and is scheduled to do the same with the playoff-bound Jacksonville Jaguars later this week.

Walls, 25, said the Washington Redskins are also interested, but he's keeping his cool.

"It's not like I'm coming out of college and I'm all excited about these workouts. It's on a whole different level now," Walls said yesterday from Arkansas. "I've went to different leagues and stayed active these last couple years.

"If they give me an opportunity to work out, then I'm going in to do the best I can."

NFL teams are now allowed to sign CFL players entering the option year of their contracts. The signing window closes in mid-February.

The Jets, who also took a look at Edmonton Eskimos defensive end Rashad Jeanty last Thursday, worked out Walls at linebacker, which is understandable considering his size. At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Walls would be considered a light linebacker in the NFL, and defensive end is likely out of the question.

"I'll always have that (during) my career," said Walls. "They thought the same thing up there in Winnipeg. You can't judge a book by its cover.

"... I'm just preparing myself first at linebacker, but if they want me to put my hand down and do a couple things, then that's fine. I'm already prepared for that."

Special teams is another possibility for Walls in the NFL, but he's leaving his options wide open.

"I'm preparing myself, working out, and if it happens it happens," he said. "If not, you go to Plan B."

'COULD BE PLAN A'

Plan B is back in the CFL, where he would hope to receive a handsome contract extension from Bombers GM Brendan Taman.

"Plan B could become Plan A, too," Walls said.

"It's just one of those situations where this is new to me, and I've showed (the Bombers) what I can do. Now I can do more than that, so let's talk business.

"It's pretty open, man. I haven't pushed the CFL out, or I haven't put the NFL first. Of course I'd love the opportunity down here, but, at the same time, if things are worth me coming back there then, hey, I'm just trying to play football and play another down."

Bombers offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed, also entering his option year, reported yesterday that he has heard from five NFL teams, although he wouldn't identify them.

The 28-year-old tackle hasn't worked out for any of those squads yet, and he's also interested to see what kind of staff new Bombers head coach Doug Berry will assemble.

"I'm still thinking that I just want to come up there, but who knows," Goodspeed said yesterday from his hometown of Tampa.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Goodspeed had NFL stints with San Francisco, New York Jets, Tampa Bay (where he won a Super Bowl ring in 2002), Miami and Washington before joining the Bombers in July.


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