Bonus money may be throwing some plans for today's CFL dispersal draft of Ottawa Renegades players for a loop.
CFL teams will be obligated to repay bonus money already doled out to individual players to Bernie Glieberman, the owner who just lost the franchise. The CFL suspended the Renegades for at least a year on Sunday, then rushed the dispersal draft.
The bonus question means that if a team such as the Blue Bombers drafts quarterback Kerry Joseph with their second pick overall, Winnipeg would then be obliged to repay Glieberman the $50,000 that Joseph has already received and pony up another $25,000 bonus this weekend. All-star defensive halfback Korey Banks has also been paid a $50,000 bonus, is due another $50,000 this weekend and another $20,000 in June, thanks to the way that Glieberman set up his contracts. Linebacker Kyries Hebert and wide receiver Yo Murphy are in the same boat.
Smaller bonuses have also been given to punter Pat Fleming, defensive backs Dave Donaldson, Bo Rogers and DaShawn Austin, and linebacker Jason Kralt. According to Sportsnet, more than $250,000 in signing bonuses must be repaid to Glieberman.
"I don't know if that's thrown a crimp into our plans, but obviously some guys have salaries that are quite high," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said last night. "It's no big deal to me, it's just part of the equation you've got to throw in and makes you take a second look at things."
The Bombers are leaning toward much more-affordable offensive lineman Ibrahim Khan anyway, a non-import that Taman has called a "ratio-breaker."
"He's a front-runner and a guy I really like," he said.
In fact, Taman tried to pry Khan out of Ottawa last season, offering veteran OL Dave Mudge in exchange. Taman has already contacted Khan to see if he would be willing to come to Winnipeg.
"He's very interested," said Taman, who first noticed Khan at Simon Fraser University, where he played with Winnipeg linebacker Neil McKinlay. "I would have drafted him if we had had a higher pick that year. So, I've always liked him."
But because of those high-end pacts, Khan has suddenly become one of the most desired players available, so much so that the Bombers are still trying to make a deal with Hamilton to move up in the draft, from second to first. But they aren't the only ones.
"There's a number of teams involved there and there are still some things ongoing," Taman said.
"The teams I talked to want to improve their non-import depth."
Those in the market for O-linemen include Edmonton, B.C. and possibly, Toronto.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders, who pick third, may also be attempting to acquire Hamilton's top choice, so they can choose quarterback Kerry Joseph.
Taman figures the Bombers could get three or four players in today's draft who could help the team.