Is Phillip Hunt going to take the plunge?
Hunt, the all-star Bombers defensive end, had workouts with five NFL teams over the last month, and he should find out soon if any of those teams are interested in him enough to put some cold, hard cash on the table.
The window for CFL players entering the option year of their contract to sign with an NFL team opened over the weekend and continues until Feb. 15.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to make it to the NFL,” Hunt said Sunday from Texas. “If we get a good number, a dollar amount, I imagine I would try and test the waters in the NFL again.”
Hunt signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2009, but he failed to stick and joined the Bombers in September of that year.
He had a CFL-leading 16 sacks in 2010, which was more than enough eye-popping play to get him workouts with Cleveland, Minnesota, Philadelphia, New England and Houston. The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder, who would probably be an outside linebacker in the NFL, left the workouts feeling good about his performances.
“I felt great. I moved good,” Hunt said. “Despite the long season in the CFL I felt pretty fresh. My legs, I was able to move and I got good feedback from the GMs and the NFL personnel there.”
The only concern for players venturing south this year is the possibility of an NFL lockout next season. If a CFL player signs with an NFL team and then there is a labour dispute, he would be stuck with nowhere to play until a resolution is reached.
If Hunt can’t get an NFL signing bonus that is worth his while, it’s a good bet he will sign a contract extension with the Blue and Gold.
“Mr. Joe Mack has offered me a lucrative amount in the CFL and I know I have stability there,” Hunt said. “And the lockout is pending, so I’m really just kind of trying to kind of see what kind of offers I can get, and then I can make that type of decision.
“I know I have a home in Winnipeg, and I feel good about the offer that they made.”