Shabazz gets walking papers

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:31 PM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers continued the transition from one regime to the next on Thursday by releasing outside linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz.

Shabazz wasn’t surprised by the move, considering he had not heard from Paul LaPolice until the new Bomber head coach called him on Thursday to give him the news.

“I already kind of figured something might happen, being that I was a leader on that team and I hadn’t heard from them,” Shabazz said Thursday from Las Cruces, N.M. “Normally I’d get a call from the head man.”

Even though the 29-year-old had an inkling he was going to get cut, he was still somewhat surprised LaPolice made the move.

“Obviously he doesn’t know who Siddeeq Shabazz is,” the hard-hitting linebacker said.

The Bombers acquired Shabazz from the Edmonton Eskimos last February for defensive end Kai Ellis. Shabazz sprained his ankle before training camp and then suffered a foot injury in Week 5 that he said hobbled him for the rest of the season.

Shabazz figures he was playing at about 70% after injuring his foot, noting he accumulated most of his statistics in the first few weeks of the campaign. That included four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He notched 72 tackles and 14 special teams drops.

Shabazz figures he won’t be out of work long.

“I figure it would be crazy if I didn’t get picked up,” he said.

IN LIMBO: Former NFL offensive lineman Kelly Butler is no longer under contract to the Bombers.

According to league spokesman Jamie Dykstra, the CFL voided the 6-foot-8, 350-pound tackle’s deal after it learned Butler was also under contract with the Arena Football League’s Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz.

The CFL and the AFL have honoured one another’s contracts since 2007, when AFL teams attempted to poach a few CFL players, including Bomber quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie, during the off-season.

Butler, who used to play for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns, said the situation will be resolved shortly and that he’ll be rejoining the Bombers.

“Everything’s been taken care of,” Butler told the Sun on Thursday. “I talked to the (Oklahoma City) coach, and everything’s taken care of. They’re in the process of getting me released, and once that is taken care of then I’m going to sign.”

Winnipeg GM Joe Mack said the Bombers were unaware that Butler had an AFL contract, and they are hoping the Dawgz will simply release him.

LATE HITS: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have awarded head coach Marcel Bellefeuille with a two-year contract extension … The Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday announced the release of kick returner Jason Armstead … Bob Cameron and Elfrid Payton, part of this year’s class, will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Saskatchewan this summer. The ceremonies will take place in Regina and Saskatoon Aug. 11-14.


Videos

Photos