Bombers add cornerback

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers appear to have made a move to shore up some holes in their secondary.

The Regina Leader-Post reported yesterday that the Saskatchewan Roughriders traded import cornerback James Johnson to the Bombers for a late-round draft pick.

Bombers head coach Mike Kelly's lips were sealed last night when asked about Johnson.

"Who?" Kelly said. "We have a lot of things going on tonight that we're working very hard at making our football team better and competitive as we can be. We're excited about the way conversations are going."

MVP

Johnson, as Bomber fans may recall, had three interceptions for Saskatchewan in their 23-19 win over Winnipeg in the 2007 Grey Cup at Toronto's Rogers Centre.

Johnson, who also returned one of those Ryan Dinwiddie picks for a touchdown, was named the game's MVP.

The Bombers might have swung the deal because the Montreal Gazette reported Montreal cornerback Mark Estelle agreed to a new deal with the Alouettes. Estelle would have been the premier defensive back on the free-agent market.

Johnson, 28, has nine interceptions in 45 career regular-season games, but even more impressive are his five picks in six post-season contests.

The Gazette also reported yesterday that receiver-returner Brian Bratton, another potential free agent, had agreed to a new deal with the Alouettes.

GO FREE, YOUNG MEN: Winnipeg's seven free agents all went on the CFL free agent market at 11:01 last night.

The hot Bomber commodities are left tackle Alexandre Gauthier, who appears destined to sign with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and centre Dominic Picard.

Agent Gil Scott represents both players, and he didn't think anything significant would happen last night.

"You wait all this time to get to free agency," Scott said, "so you gotta at least give it until noon tomorrow or something to explore it, right?"

Other Bombers who went on the market last night were Canadian offensive lineman Kyle Koch, linebackers Ike Charlton and Cam Hall, fullback Graeme Bell and defensive tackle Jon Oosterhuis.

OFF THE MARKET: The Roughriders re-signed former University of Manitoba Bisons punter Jamie Boreham yesterday, leaving Calgary's Burke Dales as the lone kicker hitting the market last night.

It's believed the Bombers will take a serious run at the 31-year-old Canadian, who had the fourth-best punting average last season at 46.1 yards.

STAY UP TO DATE: Check out winnipegsun.com and Sun Media's CFL blog, The Rouge (blog.canoe.ca/therouge), for all the latest CFL free agent news.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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