Too good to pass up

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:44 AM ET

Mike Kelly believes if you can get two Canadians for one American, you make the deal.

That's why the Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach on Tuesday traded two-time CFL all-star offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who in turn flipped him to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"The last time I heard multiple players being traded for one player, it was for a quarterback," Kelly said yesterday.

"The old adage is if you can get two Canadians for one American, that's almost a no-brainer."

The Bombers got two Canadians who were picked in the later rounds of last spring's draft and spent the 2008 campaign on their teams' practice rosters: offensive lineman Jean Francois Morin-Roberge and Canuck defensive back Brady Browne.

Key cog

Kelly believes they've found someone in Morin-Roberge who can be a key cog on Winnipeg's offensive line for years to come. The Bomber boss is also excited about the fact that the 6-foot-6, 325-pound Quebec City product is a tackle.

"How many Canadian tackles do you see anymore? Now we have this kid that can play tackle that's a Canadian," Kelly said.

"His arms are 38 1/2 inches around. That's bigger than my waist. The kid is massive. He's an O-linemen that is big, athletic, 23 years old and has Chris Walby-type size."

It remains to be seen if Morin-Roberge will be able to produce anything near Chris Walby-type game, but Kelly believes they'll be able to get something good out of him.

"We think in the very near future he can anchor that tackle spot for years to come," he said. "We've lowered the average age on the offensive line from 32 to 27, and people are worried about continuity, but we have three guys who have played together (Morin-Roberge, Glenn January and Steve Morley in Saskatchewan)."

Kelly wasn't surprised to see the Riders flip Goodspeed to the Ticats, who are the Bombers' East Division rival, but that doesn't mean he was happy about it.

"Would I rather have Dan Goodspeed in the West than the East? Sure," Kelly said. "But it's part of business."

Another part of business is the fact the Bombers have already paid Goodspeed an $80,000 roster bonus -- more than half of his $150,000 salary in 2009.

"It was initially not in our plans to get rid of him," Kelly said. "This was an opportunity that was presented to us that we felt was too good to pass up."

The Bombers also believe they bolstered their receiving corps in the deal through the addition of Adarius Bowman, who played only nine games last season due to injury but hauled in 23 catches for 358 yards and three touchdowns.

There is speculation the Bombers might now deal one of their three 1,000-yard receivers -- Romby Bryant, Derick Armstrong and Terrence Edwards -- but Kelly said the team is trying to lock the trio into long-term deals.

"Now, there may be something that comes up in the future," Kelly said, "but we're looking to extend those guys."

Bowman is also an insurance policy, Kelly said, considering Armstrong and Edwards are coming off injuries.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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