Crossover berth another casualty?

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Yet another major detail may have been overlooked in the aftermath of the latest demise of the Ottawa Renegades.

With the CFL franchise suspended for at least a year -- and possibly forever -- the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were moved back into the East once again. And, according to Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Danny Barrett, the CFL has eliminated the wild-card playoff berth, where a fourth-place team in one division would cross over to the other if it had a better record than the third-place squad in the other division.

"I thought the crossover format should still be in place," Barrett told the Regina Leader-Post. "I think the Western teams would vote in favour of it because the top six teams should be in the playoffs, bottom line."

Eliminating the crossover, however, would improve Winnipeg's chances of making the playoffs as the Bombers would then have to have a better record than just one other Eastern opponent.

"I hope he's wrong but I don't know," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "If that's the case, then I would prefer to play both Toronto and Hamilton four times instead of three to give us a chance to control our own destiny."

CFL officials did not respond to requests for confirmation yesterday.

KERRY QUESTION: Although the Roughriders pursued Ottawa quarterback Kerry Joseph before he re-signed with Ottawa, Barrett was downplaying that interest Monday.

"You keep talking about Kerry Joseph, Kerry Joseph," Barrett told Regina reporters. "I haven't mentioned him one time. We're going after guys who make us better. That doesn't necessarily have to be a quarterback. Like I've said, we can win with the guys we have. I feel confident and the rest of the team feels the same way, that we don't have to go after a name guy or somebody who makes noise or somebody we've been waiting on. That's not going to happen."

LEGAL RISK: Although import linebacker Kyries Hebert should have made everyone's top 10 list of available Renegades, his legal problems in the U.S. may prevent him from coming back to Canada. Then there is his $75,000 base salary on top of $65,000 in bonuses.

"At the cost of a pick and the amount of dollars he commands, I am not convinced he can come into the country so, I wouldn't want to risk it," Taman said.

HASHMARKS: Such Renegades as OL Sandy Annunziata and Chris Burns and DL Johnny Scott have not been made available in today's dispersal draft because CFL commissioner Tom Wright did not approve the contracts they had signed, which he apparently has the right to do ... Today's draft also includes the rights to Brandon's Israel Idonije, the defensive lineman currently employed by the NFL's Chicago Bears.


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