Say hello to another victim of the new CFL salary cap.
Cornerback Omar Evans is out of work today after being dumped by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Evans is a steady, six-year veteran who played 15 games last season.
But his combination of age, 30, and salary, coupled with the team's recent acquisition of free agent Davin Bush, made him expendable.
"I told him you reach a certain plateau in your career ... and with the new SMS (salary management system), it's tough," Bomber GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "He was a pretty consistent player for us. Sometimes you've gotta make tough decisions like this."
Reached while training in Flagstaff, Ariz., Evans took the news in stride, saying he saw this coming when the Bombers restructured the contracts of other defensive backs such as like Robert Bean and Kelly Malveaux, but not his.
"I'm cool. I'm fine," Evans said. "I understand it's a business. They went in a younger direction, and that's fine. I was just a little upset they didn't let me go earlier. That way I could have been in the thick of things (in free agency). But they were also trying to cover themselves, in case they didn't get Bush ... or whatever. But I have no hard feelings toward Brendan or anyone."
Evans played two seasons with the Bombers, after one with Calgary, one with Montreal and two in Saskatchewan.
He has 12 career interceptions, including a career-best five with the Bombers in 2005.
He still wants to play, and being out of work certainly didn't seem to affect his confidence.
"I know I was one of the best defensive backs we had," Evans said. "I know I was the best cornerback we had last year. Nobody else can tell me any different. Because if there was (a better one), they would have put them on the (wide side) and let them play man-to-man all game long. I held up very well."
Friends with Bush from their days in Saskatchewan, Evans says he actually recommended the Bombers to his former teammate, despite suspecting they were about to let him go.
"I'm a classy dude, man. This football stuff don't make or break me," Evans said. "I wish Winnipeg nothing but the best. Only a few people get to ride off into the sunset on their own terms."
Evans doesn't plan on riding off just yet.
"I'm pretty sure I'll have some offers. I've got two or three more years in me."