Hebert looking to settle

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Despite initiating the proceedings, Kyries Hebert wants to settle his legal dispute with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before it goes to arbitration.

The linebacker, whom the Bombers claimed off waivers following the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft, believes a deal can be worked out that would make both sides happy.

"I'm really at a point where I want this to be over with, and I really believe that if we sat down and we spoke, we might be able to work something out," said Hebert yesterday. "Because if we let lawyers handle it and we go to arbitration, there's not really a chance of anyone winning. And I really want the best for both parties."

Hebert is challenging the validity of Winnipeg's waiver claim because he wants to sign in the NFL, but a hearing isn't expected to take place for at least another two weeks.

Hebert was in Cincinnati on April 19, about to sign a deal with the NFL's Bengals, when he learned that the Bombers had plucked him -- and his five-year contract -- at 3:55 p.m. EDT. That was five minutes before the CFL waiver period ended for players not selected in the dispersal draft.

"I didn't exactly know what the wait was about," said Hebert. "I just knew I had to wait until 4 o'clock."

Despite that, Hebert's agent, J.R. Rickert, submitted a complaint to the CFL Players' Association, which then filed an appeal with the CFL.

As with most legal proceedings, the process has dragged. Hebert has no income, and he's missing valuable NFL mini-camps.

"That's actually lowering my percentages of being what I'm capable of being in the NFL this year," said Hebert.

Bombers GM Brendan Taman and Rickert spoke last week about reaching a settlement, but Taman wouldn't divulge the specifics of the conversation.

"It was with the intent of him going to the NFL, which I have no interest in even debating," said Taman.

It's believed Hebert wants the Bombers to let him go in exchange for cash from the NFL team with which he signs. He also likely would agree to Winnipeg retaining his CFL rights, although that would require a special deal that the league certainly would not allow.

The Bombers aren't going to budge, even though they haven't found a bona fide starter at what would have been Hebert's outside linebacker position.

Hebert was asked what the chances are of him being a Bomber if he loses in arbitration.

"Let's just leave it as nobody can win," he said. "It doesn't look like a situation where anyone can win. If it has to go to arbitration, nobody wins.

"... If it can be over with and they can let me go right now, that would be great."


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