GM poised to swoop

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Now that the fate of the Ottawa franchise has finally been decided, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers can bounce from their holding pattern into action.

The CFL suspended the Renegades for at least one season on Sunday and, as a result, the rest of the CFL will participate in a dispersal draft of Ottawa players under contract tomorrow.

"The face of the Earth has sort of changed," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday.

Taman was already preparing for the "vulture" draft by poring over the contract details of individual Renegades to see who the Bombers can actually afford. Teams must assume the CFL contracts the players have signed. Although Ottawa quarterback Kerry Joseph will be one of the most coveted players, his price tag could scare Winnipeg off. In fact, Joseph is reportedly due a hefty bonus some time this month and the Bombers believe that returnee Kevin Glenn is just as good, if not better.

SEEKING ANSWERS

But Taman was also still seeking answers to several draft-related questions -- such as whether the salary cap will be changed and whether there will be two more Canadians added to the rosters (which had already been increased to 42). The draft will continue until either all available players are picked or every team passes.

"Some of the guys on here (Ottawa roster), I don't want," said Taman.

Taman will consider bartering Winnipeg's first pick -- second overall -- if he is allowed to do so. The Saskatchewan Roughriders, who apparently want Joseph with their choice (third), may be willing to make such a deal.

Although Taman has said that offensive lineman Ibrahim Khan could be a ratio-changer because he is a non-import who could start, that does not mean he has decided to draft him.

Others who rate serious consideration, depending on their contracts, include import defensive back Korey Banks, who could vastly improve Winnipeg's weakest area, and import wide receiver/kick returner Jason Armstead. However, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who have the No. 1 pick, are leaning towards Armstead.

"The contracts are sort of an important part to the puzzle," Taman said.

Others expected to draw a lot of interest include non-import slotback Pat Woodcock, who also comes with a steep price tag, Canadian offensive lineman Val St. Germain and import defensive linemen Kai Ellis, Jerome Haywood and Keaton Cromartie.

Others expected to draw Winnipeg interest include former Bomber non-import receiver Markus Howell, punter Pat Fleming, non-import defensive lineman Cameron Legault, import defensive back Clarence Clemons and, possibly, Canadian defensive back Don Ruiz, another ex-Bomber.

The dispersal draft could also affect those who are still free agents, such as non-import receiver Gilles Colon.

"I'd still like to have him back but this has muddied the waters now," Taman said.

BLUE NOTE: Taman is sporting a cooler look these days. He agreed to have his head shaved as part of a Never Alone Foundation fundraiser through Power 97. Fans pledged more than $6,000 for CancerCare Manitoba to see Brendan bald.

"I can't believe it was over so quickly, after all those years of growing my hair out and countless dollars on hair products," Taman joked. "I just hope it grows back."


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