Does Bombers' defence even need Hebert?

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

Curious, the Blue Bombers are not about to give up on Kyries Hebert without a fight.

Yet, with the way the Winnipeg defence is playing, they are not sure they could even use the import linebacker.

"The defence only gave up 72 yards (to Toronto on Friday) and we have some quality people already playing for us," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "Hebert would also have to replace (weak-side linebacker Donnavan) Carter (a non-import) and that's a ratio thing."

Although Hebert -- who can also play safety -- now wants to re-negotiate his CFL contract to get that NFL window of opportunity this off-season, Taman is not about to jump at that demand.

"I have talked to his agent and he's not enthralled with the arbitration process and wants to negotiate a new deal," Taman said. "But it won't be a one-year fix. Part of the reason we claimed him off waivers was because of the length of the contract he signed with Ottawa (five years)."

The Bombers had claimed Hebert after he was passed over in the Renegades dispersal draft due to concerns over his legal problems down south (since resolved).

The CFL has postponed the arbitration hearing until July or August, Taman said.

NUMBERS GAME: If Bomber tailback Charles Roberts really wants to trade in his No. 1 for No. 32, it would have to become a permanent switch.

"He was talking about wearing No. 32 for a couple of games, then going back to No. 1," Taman said. "But I told Charlie if he's going to change, it's going to be permanent. I talked to the CFL about it and they're not enamoured with it. But if he really wants to change it, I'll try to push it through."

Ultimately, the CFL must approve the exchange since Roberts is a marquee player.

MISCONCEPTION: Taman, by the way, seemed irritated by the misconception concerning the Spergon Wynn trade.

"I keep hearing that all we got was a second-round pick but it seems to me that that turned out to be (non-import offensive lineman) Val St. Germain," he said. "After what I saw of Wynn (Friday), I'll take that."

Taman had traded that second-round pick for Toronto's first-round pick in the Ottawa dispersal draft. The Bombers had also acquired safety Mike Crumb from Toronto in the Wynn trade and since he did not show up, the Argos still owe Winnipeg compensation.

HASHMARKS: CB Omar Evans (groin) is expected to be OK for Saturday's game against Edmonton here ... KR/REC Albert Johnson III (shoulder) should also be back to return kicks as Friday was likely the last you will see of DB Gabriel Fulbright as a returner ... And don't be surprised if there is a new punter in the lineup Saturday.


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