Karikari back talkin' to Als

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers took a big hit last night in the Richard Karikari sweepstakes, and it appears they have another problem brewing with Dan Goodspeed.

Mere hours after essentially agreeing to a deal with the Bombers yesterday afternoon, Karikari, the CFL free-agent safety who was second in the league last season with nine interceptions, instructed his agent to re-open contract talks with the Montreal Alouettes.

Karikari spent his first three seasons with the Alouettes, and now Bombers GM Brendan Taman figures the highly coveted non-import is going back to his old team.

"I was pretty confident about signing him, but now I'm not," Taman said last night. "Now I get the sense that he's not coming."

All ready to sign

It's believed the Bombers were offering $130,000 a season, and Taman and Karikari's agent apparently had a contract completed and all ready to sign.

Karikari did not return messages left by the Sun yesterday.

Meanwhile, there was even more bad news for Taman.

Goodspeed's agent, Ron Del Duca Jr., contacted the Sun yesterday to voice his displeasure with the Bombers' communication skills and also threatened to ask for a trade.

The representative for the Bombers offensive lineman said he has contacted Taman 12 times in the last couple months about a contract extension but hadn't heard back from him.

Del Duca wasn't happy with Winnipeg's recent offer of $75,000 plus incentives, which would represent a $15,000 raise for Goodspeed.

Del Duca, in fact, called Winnipeg's proposal "pitiful."

Goodspeed, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound import, joined the Bombers in early July and made a solid impression at left and right tackle, but most CFL teams prefer to start an all-Canadian offensive line.

Del Duca is under the belief that the Bombers value Goodspeed a great deal and therefore should be ponying up the cash.

"If he's not part of the plan, then let's trade his ass," Del Duca said yesterday from Virginia Beach, Va. "But I can't even tell them that, because they won't return my friggin' phone calls."

When informed of Del Duca's concerns, Taman immediately fired off an e-mail to let him know that the offer hadn't changed.

"Dan came in (last season) and did a really good job," Taman said, "and we would love to have him back."

Taman also said he's more concerned right now about landing Karikari -- and not an import offensive lineman who's already under contract.

This situation is eerily similar to last season's Orlando Bobo fiasco. Bobo, an import offensive lineman, was going into his option year, but he retired when he couldn't squeeze more money out of the Bombers.

Taman said that scenario could easily repeat itself with Goodspeed.

"When guys go down this route ... sure it could," he said. "That wouldn't surprise me at all."


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