Onterrio likes Bombers

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Brendan Taman and Onterrio Smith had a chat the other day, and let's just say Charles Roberts is unlikely to be happy about it.

Taman said Smith, the suspended NFL running back, is willing to join the Winnipeg Blue Bombers even if he can't be their No. 1 back.

"He was fine. He's not looking to be the guy," said Taman, the Bomber GM. "He's looking to get his career back on track.

"He's a really good guy, though, with no attitude, no bull, and he's very well spoken.

"I heard what I wanted to hear, that's for sure. It's not about him; it's the team."

Taman is now talking to Smith's agent, Doug Hendrickson, about a salary, which means there is a better than average chance the former Minnesota Viking is Winnipeg-bound.

"If things continue the way they are, there is that chance he could sign," said Taman. "It's looking better than it had been."

Taman would like to have Smith's decision by this weekend. All first-year Bombers are expected to be in Winnipeg on Tuesday for a three-day rookie camp that starts Wednesday.

How Smith's impending signing will affect Roberts, Winnipeg's current starting tailback, remains to be seen. The 5-foot-6 all-star told the Sun last week that he wanted to be traded because the Bombers were interested in Smith.

Taman, who hasn't spoken with Roberts since the comments, believes the two backs will be able to coexist. Winnipeg's plan is to use Smith as a kick returner and part-time offensive player, similar to the way Keith Stokes was utilized last season.

"He wants to help us win. He understands he might not be the guy, but he wants to contribute as much as he can," said Taman. "... He knows who Charlie is and knows all about him."

MAKING AMENDS: Taman reported that he and Ron Del Duca Jr., the agent for Bombers offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed, had a productive conversation recently.

"We kissed and made up," said Taman, "and Goodspeed will be in camp."

Del Duca contacted the Sun in March because he was upset that Taman had not been communicating with them about contract renegotiations. The sides have cleared the air and agreed to terms on a new deal, but Goodspeed hasn't signed it yet.


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