Hebert back in picture?

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Kyries Hebert believes he has solved the problems which could have prevented him from re-entering Canada.

The import linebacker, who had been indicted on charges stemming from a domestic dispute in a Houston suburb, has agreed to a plea bargain, which reduced his charges to two misdemeanours and no felony record.

"His legal problems have been resolved," J.R. Rickert, Hebert's Albany, N.Y.-based agent said yesterday. "That should allow him to re-enter Canada."

Hebert was passed over in the CFL's dispersal draft of Ottawa Renegades players last week due to both those legal problems and a hefty contract. But since then, several CFL squads have come calling, including the Blue Bombers.

"I talked to coach (Winnipeg's defensive co-ordinator Greg) Marshall last week," the 6-foot-2, 217-pound Hebert said from Houston. "The weather in Winnipeg's not my favourite but coach Marshall is one of my favourites. I loved playing in his system in Ottawa last year and would love to play in that system again.

"But right now, I'm very busy getting ready to go to a lot of different places and Winnipeg is possibly one of them."

But first, Rickert has lined up several NFL tryouts and Hebert was already on his way to Cincinnati yesterday. Workouts were also planned with Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Jacksonville, he said.

Hebert, 25, officially clears CFL waivers tomorrow and would then become a free agent.

"Kyries is very open to any opportunities right now," Rickert said. "But he won't sign with an NFL team just to be a (training) camp body and he still has some practice squad eligibility left."

Hebert, who tied for the CFL lead with 29 special teams tackles last season, has spent time on Houston's practice roster.

"If no NFL team signs him, we would pursue CFL opportunities," Rickert said. "We're going through the process and I've had conversations with just about every CFL team up there. The GM there (Brendan Taman) called me and we talked."

Hamilton, Montreal, Calgary and B.C. are also interested, which could create a bidding war. Hebert plans to take a trip to both Montreal and Hamilton next week so he will find out then whether he can indeed re-enter Canada again.

"Next week, we should be able to tell a lot more," Rickert said. "A couple of NFL teams are waiting for draft day but we want answers by May 1."

Taman could not be reached for comment.

A Brazoria County district attorney confirmed that Hebert had agreed to a plea bargain of two misdemeanours as his wife, Kristina Hebert, did not want to go to trial. Hebert had to pay a $1,000 US fine plus court costs for one and a $200 fine plus court costs and 80 hours of community service with a strict two-year probation for his assault charge. He also had to join a batterers group.

Hebert was reportedly arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest in January. Hebert allegedly held his wife's head under water in a bathtub while threatening to kill her during a dispute over a cellphone bill.

"They are communicating with each other again so that's progress," Rickert said.


Photos