No takers for Armstrong

The Bombers have been unable to find a trading partner for Derick Armstrong, a player whose market...

The Bombers have been unable to find a trading partner for Derick Armstrong, a player whose market value has plummeted. (Sun Media/Marcel Cretain)

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' efforts to deal banished receiver Derick Armstrong reached a third futile day, yesterday.

Another attempt to find a replacement for Armstrong came up well short, financially.

The Bombers made an offer to free agent receiver Matt Dominguez, but were rebuffed by his agent.

"The offer was ridiculous, so they were just looking to steal him," Paul Sheehy told the Sun. "(It's) not happening on this end, that's for sure."

Dominguez, a former 1,000-yard receiver with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was released during the off-season. A knee injury limited him to just seven games last season.

Money could be an issue in finding a suitable replacement for Armstrong, since they'd already invested heavily in the 30-year-old, paying him bonuses of around $40,000.

Meanwhile, director of player personnel John Murphy has been unable to find a trading partner for a player whose market value has plummeted since word of his clash with head coach Mike Kelly became public on the weekend.

"We continue to evaluate all options," Murphy said.

All except one.

Kelly made it clear there is no room for Armstrong to return to the team.

"I've moved on from that situation," Kelly said. "We are collectively the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And we are all equally invested in this. If someone doesn't want to make an equal investment then they're no longer a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"There was no other way to handle it."

Kelly had Armstrong's locker cleared out Saturday, leading to a blowup between the two.

Their differences began when Kelly decided to make Armstrong a backup to first-year Bomber Adarius Bowman last week in Edmonton. Armstrong, a five-year CFL veteran, refused to play.

AGE OF ADARIUS? Bowman saw plenty of passes thrown his way in practice, suggesting he could be the benefactor of the Armstrong saga.

"I'm not looking at it as a positive thing," Bowman said. "I'm not happy. It's a tough loss. We got pretty close."

That said, Bowman, who turns 24 the day the Bombers host Calgary, Friday, is eager to do whatever he can to help.

"I'm here to play whatever my role is, and if it's coming off the bench, I'm up for it," he said. "If it's starting, I'm up for it."

Bowman's size (6-foot-4, 224 pounds) and skill make him an intriguing potential replacement for Armstrong.

"He's a big, powerful kid," Kelly said. "He has a ways to go yet as far as learning the game and how to really be a receiver. As he continues to develop I expect him to be a major factor for us."

IN THE SHADOWS: Lost in the controversy surrounding Armstrong and Kelly is the fact centre Obby Khan played his first regular-season game in nearly two years last week.

"The rust still needs to come off," Khan said. "But all in all, from the first half to the second half I played a lot better. If I progress like that, I'll be fine in no time."

Khan had been plagued by injuries and chronic colitis, which was finally cured through surgery.

"Once the rust comes off, I think I'll be substantially better than I was in my prime, so to say," he said. "I'm disease-free now, so I'm on no meds. The weight I've got now is good weight, not medication weight. And I can just focus on football now. I have no side effects, whatsoever.

"Plus, that two years has created that drive in me, that hunger to get back out there and perform at a top level."

SICK BAY: D-lineman Doug Brown (illness) still isn't practising, so it's likely he won't play for a second straight week.

Linebacker Joe Lobendahn (shoulder) also sat out.

MOVING ON: The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed former Bomber O-lineman Matt O'Meara to their practice roster.


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