The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have contacted homegrown free agent receiver Chris Bauman, recently released by Hamilton.
Head coach Paul LaPolice called Bauman Wednesday, but stopped short of saying the Bombers will aggressively pursue the Brandon native.
“You would like to always improve your Canadian depth, but there has to be a realization of the cost of that,” LaPolice said Thursday.
LaPolice said he and GM Joe Mack were still evaluating whether to claim Bauman on waivers, which would technically give Winnipeg exclusive negotiating rights until free agency begins on Feb. 15.
However, as the Sun reported earlier this week, several teams have been much more aggressive, already contacting Bauman’s agent to discuss possible contract details.
The 6-foot-4 receiver lost his starting job last season, but had a strong finish, averaging about 100 yards in three late-season games, including a playoff loss to Toronto.
The 26-year-old, a first overall draft pick, caught 114 passes over four seasons with the Ticats.
LaPolice said the Bombers are also still deciding whether to pursue veteran Canadian O-lineman Alex Gauthier, another recent release by the Ticats.
As for Winnipeg’s own free agents, the most high profile of which are centre Obby Khan and defensive back Jonathan Hefney, LaPolice says negotiations continue.
“You want to resign your guys at a reasonable ... what is fair to both the club and the player,” the coach said. “That is what we’ve started.”