1-800-Got Squat

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

Six weeks ago, Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly announced to the world he was putting quarterback Kevin Glenn on the trading block.

Yesterday, Kelly got exactly what he deserved for the former East Division most outstanding player.

Squat.

Unable to find a taker for Glenn -- surprise, surprise -- and edging ever closer to the day Glenn was to collect a major bonus, Kelly simply released him.

Consider it lesson No. 2 for the rookie coach (No. 1 having to do with overzealous criticism of his former GM).

This time Kelly learned that in the tight-knit CFL, you don't tell your rivals you want to get rid of a player. Particularly when said player is due a sizable chunk of change on a certain date.

It puts you in a position of weakness, with the clock working against you.

If you're talking about a star player who'd be in great demand, you might be able to cash in on a quick bidding war. Kind of like selling a rare item on EBay.

But if you're trying to deal an immobile quarterback with an average arm who threw the most interceptions in the CFL a year ago and whose leadership qualities don't remind anybody of Knute Rockne, you may as well just call 1-800-Got Junk and have the guy hauled away.

That's obviously what the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, apparently the only team interested in Glenn, were waiting for.

Ticats GM Bob O'Billovich, like everyone else, heard Kelly wanted no part of Glenn this season, knew all about Glenn's coming bonus ($50,000 due March 15) and backed off. Now he can back up his trailer to the CFL scrap yard and load Glenn up for nothing.

Now, had Kelly played it coy with the Bombers' No. 5, saying publicly that Glenn was in the mix for the starting job, along with newly acquired Stefan LeFors, even talking up Glenn's good points, how he's not far removed from an all-star season, blah, blah, blah, he may have at least got a sniff or two on the trade market.

When you're the new guy at the poker table, why show your cards to the other seven players? Keep 'em guessing about who they're dealing with.

Don't announce your plan to bluff with your next hand, and then do just that.

Make them unsure about whether you really want to trade your quarterback, or if you're simply looking for an upgrade at another position.

Kind of like what Kelly did with linebacker Zeke Moreno.

The whole league knew the Bombers had too many inside linebackers, but Kelly still managed to pry Canadian Riall Johnson, a potential starter, from the Argos. Not a great return when you consider the Bombers also gave up a draft pick, but at least it's something.

Wouldn't an average quarterback, capable of winning seven to 10 games in a season, fetch a similar price?

It could be we're dreaming in technicolour, here, that regardless of how Kelly played his cards he wasn't going to get more than a song for Glenn.

But he could have at least tried.

Like the Ticats did with Casey Printers.

Nobody in Hamilton announced Printers was on the block after his horrible 2008 season. Like Glenn, his stock has fallen drastically and, like Glenn, he wasn't exactly salary-cap friendly.

But O'Billovich remained coy, suggesting Printers might still be in the Steeltown mix right up until he released him a couple of weeks ago.

Sure, the result was the same.

But at least you were left convinced nobody wanted to deal for Printers.

Minor detail, you say?

Perhaps.

But if you can't get the little things right, why should anybody think you can nail the big ones?

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or 632-2788.


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