Deal, or no deal?

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Winnipeg's Grey Cup week was one long party for many.

Not Brendan Taman.

"It was a paperwork nightmare," the Blue Bombers GM said yesterday.

Taman spent the week burning the midnight and mid-morning oil attempting to either re-sign or restructure player contracts before Sunday's deadline where signing bonuses would not be included in next year's salary management system. And the fines for exceeding the cap are strict.

Although Taman was able to complete "about a dozen" contracts, he cannot identify the players until the CFL head office approves officially.

However, it is believed that defensive tackle Doug Brown -- the Eastern rep as top Canadian -- is one of the dozen that has agreed to terms.

"No comment," Taman said, then added: "I don't believe he will be playing anywhere else."

Others believed to have their contracts restructured include safety Kyries Hebert. Taman had offered to reduce his long-term pact to two years plus an option when he finally agreed to show up. That means Hebert would be an option-year player in 2008.

Taman has yet to get an official word from slotback Milt Stegall about his immediate future.

"He wants to play but I'm not sure he will," Taman said. "It's pretty touch and go. He said we'll know within the next few weeks."

The Bombers are also expected to announce that centre Obby Khan has re-upped any day now.

Taman, however, failed to convince defensive backs Kelly Malveaux, Anthony Malbrough or Stanford Samuels, offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek or wide receiver Derick Armstrong to ink new pacts.

"But just because I didn't sign them by the deadline doesn't mean I won't sign them or don't want them here," Taman said.

Abou-Mechrek, Samuels and wide receiver Chris Brazzell are among those expected to pursue their options once they officially become free agents.

"We're still going to have a lot of free agents," Taman warned.

Although the Bombers will likely realize a profit of about $2.5 million from the Grey Cup, that had no effect on Taman's budget.

"My budget doesn't change one penny," he said. "I have been told in no uncertain terms not to go a dollar over it."

Meanwhile, no one has asked permission to contact any of the club's assistant coaches, including defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall.

"But it's early and I'm sure Greg will get some calls," Taman said.

Marshall confirmed that he is willing to listen to offers but has yet to field any.

"All's quiet on the Western front," he said. "But I'm sure, as the month goes by, an opportunity will come along."

Marshall's name has been mentioned most prominently in Hamilton and an opening is also expected to come in Saskatchewan. And Alouettes GM Jim Popp is unlikely to continue as head coach in Montreal.


Videos

Photos