All quiet on Blue front

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:29 PM ET

Joe Mack stayed true to his word on the first day of CFL free agency.

The Bomber GM said the Blue and Gold wouldnt make much of a splash when the market opened, and they were one of three teams that didnt introduce a new player by 10 oclock on Wednesday night.

Nor did the Blue and Gold announce the re-signing of centre Obby Khan, their highest-profile player who went on the market and is still waiting to find out where hes going to land. Assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson said an offer is on the table and he expects to hear back from the Khan camp on Thursday.

Were going to wait and see where the Khan situation goes, Hodgkinson said, and that will determine future directions.

Nobodys drawn the line in the sand, but at some point will it come to that? Sure, itll have to. We cant wait indefinitely, and Im sure he has no desire to wait indefinitely. Im sure he wants to know where hes going to be.

Khan, who is in Pakistan on vacation, is looking for more guaranteed money, while the Bombers are offering a more incentive-laden deal.

I have not signed as of yet, but I want to come back to Winnipeg, Khan wrote in an e-mail to the Suns Paul Friesen on Wednesday. Now that we are into free agency I am not sure what is gonna happen.

I will say what I have been saying from the beginning: I want to be back in Winnipeg, but I want and think I deserve a fair salary according to what all other offensive lineman are making in the CFL.

While some wondered where the Bombers were on opening day, Hodgkinson noted there wasnt exactly furious action across the league. While that much is true, Winnipegs East Division opponents did make moves. The Toronto Argos retained all-star defensive tackle Kevin Huntley, the Montreal Alouettes added all-star cornerback Dwight Anderson from Calgary, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats scooped up running back Avon Cobourne from the Als.

The Ticats may have added Cobourne, they also took hits with the loss of defensive back Geoff Tisdale to the Stampeders and a pair of Canadians, defensive tackle Jermaine Reid and offensive lineman Brian Ramsay, to the Edmonton Eskimos.

A grand total of nine official moves were made on Day 1, leaving only 24 players on the market. Five more had reportedly agreed to terms.

A CFL source said the Bombers inquired about former Saskatchewan linebacker Renauld Williams, but Hodgkinson said they didnt offer him a contract. Williams reportedly agreed to terms with the Ticats on Wednesday night.

As for Winnipegs other remaining free agents, running back Yvenson Bernard signed with the Alouettes, according to a source, while Canadian running back Daryl Stephenson has very good offers from one team in both the East and West Divisions, agent Darren Gill said. Hamilton is believed to be the team in the East.

Middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn was reportedly targeted by the Ticats, but thats probably no longer the case if theyre bringing Williams aboard. Mack said on the weekend that he wanted Lobendahn back, so theres a chance he could still return to the Blue and Gold.


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