The Winnipeg Blue Bombers may be interested in acquiring return specialist Bashir Levingston from Toronto if the price is right.
Winnipeg general manager Brendan Taman said yesterday he had received permission from Argos general manager Adam Rita to talk to Levingston's agent.
The Argos are trying to trade Levingston, who became expendable when the team signed free-agent returner/receiver Keith Stokes last Sunday. Stokes played the past two years in Winnipeg and augmented his return skills as a capable receiver.
Levingston is arguably the best return specialist in the Canadian Football League but couldn't prove his versatility to Toronto as an offensive or defensive player. Levingston is scheduled to receive $125,000 this year -- a hefty amount for a player considered one-dimensional -- and is scheduled to receive a bonus of $20,000 on March 1.
The Argos may opt to eat part of the contract to facilitate a trade.
"If (Levingston) wants to agree to a reduction (in salary) and Toronto pays a portion of it, I may be interested," Taman said last night. "We've talked about it (in the organization).
"It could happen but there's a lot of things that need to happen before it develops. I can probably stomach if I'm lucky (paying) $100,000, maybe. We'll see what happens."
Taman was scheduled to pay Stokes a base pay of $100,000, but the deal included a $30,000 provision in bonus incentives. Stokes received a base pay of $80,000 last year and incentives that pushed it up to $100,000.
The Argos would prefer to trade Levingston to a West Division team rather than see him play for an East Division team.
Still, Rita has apparently also talked to representatives of Hamilton and Montreal.
Hamilton may have an interest, but there may be concerns about Levingston's salary, his reputation as a one-dimensional player plus the fact he threw a helmet into the crowd last year at Ivor Wynne Stadium and injured a young boy. Levingston publicly apologized, was fined by the Argos and suspended for one game by the league.
Montreal has a pure return specialist in 5-foot-4 Ezra Landry.
Crumb accepts trade
Versatile backup defensive back/linebacker Mike Crumb found out he had been traded to Winnipeg yesterday shortly after his wife gave birth to the couple's second child, a boy. The Argos dealt Crumb and a second-round draft pick in 2006 for quarterback Spergon Wynn.
"I didn't think a 35-year-old is worth anything, particularly a quarterback," Crumb said jokingly. "I guess Winnipeg was looking for what I bring to the table, possibly to be playing again as a starter."