Bombers pass on Printers

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

The last week for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has been one of the team's busiest stretches in years.

Don't expect it to get any crazier this weekend, though, because it sounds as if Casey Printers will not be coming to the Manitoba capital any time soon.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats officially released the quarterback yesterday, leaving the CFL's (former) highest-paid player looking for a new place of employment.

Bombers head coach Mike Kelly said last month Printers wasn't in his team's plans, and reiterated those thoughts yesterday.

Not convinced

"At this particular juncture I'm just not convinced Casey looks good in blue," Kelly said, "and I'm happy with our situation the way it is."

Printers is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. He was the CFL's most outstanding player in 2004 with the B.C. Lions, but left for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs after the 2005 campaign. After a season and a training camp with the Chiefs, he returned to the CFL with the Tiger-Cats amid much fanfare.

He signed a massive contract that paid him a reported $400,000 per season and vowed to become the best quarterback to play football, but he was nothing close to that.

Printers played 18 games for the Ticats over a year and a half and threw six touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He was also injury-prone and not exactly well-loved by his teammates, although some insist to this day that Printers is misunderstood and means well but just can't get his intentions across.

He's still a relative kid at 27 years of age, but all the uncertainty surrounding him has some teams wary. Kelly hinted at that when asked if Printers' experience was at least worth a look.

"It depends on what kind of experience you're bringing," he said. "I kind of mean to be joking there, but there's also a serious side to that."

Printers is expected to sign for a reduced price, but not even that has Kelly interested.

"When I'm looking at some of these things, money isn't a factor," he said. "I don't want to even put money into it. I'm talking about building team chemistry, and from what I know about guys we've signed and how they've responded to us on the phone when we have signed them, I like what we're building here.

"There is a master plan. So right now, from information that I've gathered -- and I've never coached Casey, I've never met Casey -- I don't feel there's a sense of urgency to go out and sign Casey, at any price."

It's believed B.C. and Montreal might take a run at Printers.

The Bombers have five quarterbacks under contract -- Kevin Glenn, Stefan LeFors, Ryan Dinwiddie, Bryan Randall and Timmy Chang. Glenn is still on the trading block, and Kelly is confident in the other four, especially LeFors.

"I was on the phone today with Jeff Brohm, who played for me in the XFL and was Stefan LeFors' coach at Louisville," Kelly said. "All he did was get me more excited again."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

WILD WEEK

Winnipeg's player movement over the last six days:

In Out

OL Glenn January OL Alex Gauthier*

OL Steve Morley* OL Dominic Picard*

OL Luke Fritz* OL Kyle Koch*

LB Siddeeq Shabazz DE Kai Ellis

DE Riall Johnson* LB Zeke Moreno

SB Brock Ralph* S Jason Nugent*

S Shawn Gallant* RB Graeme Bell*

CB James Johnson SB Milt Stegall

LB Ike Charlton S Greg Bearman*

DT Don Oramasionwu*

(* Canadian player)


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