Carr reverses strategy with Bombers

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were close to re-signing Greg Carr last week. Everyone involved even said so.

Now, the tune has changed.

“He is going to wait for free agency,” Carr’s agent, Keenan Davis, wrote in an via e-mail on Wednesday.

While import receivers are arguably a dime a dozen in the CFL, Carr stands 6-foot-6 above the earth and has been a game-breaker on occasion. He was dogged by injuries last season, but it sounds like he’s going to get some attention next Wednesday night when he becomes a free agent.

A CFL source said the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who are desperate for import receiver help, are very interested in Carr, who as of last week didn’t want to play anywhere in the CFL other than Winnipeg.

However in a Tweet posted Wednesday @Carr Show, Carr said, "To all of Swaggerville know I'm riding with Bomber Nation to the end we just have to get some things right because I want to come back."

LABATTE STILL BLUE?: The news on Wednesday sounded a little more positive when it came to left guard Brendon LaBatte, but the clock is ticking on Winnipeg’s prized remaining potential free agent.

“I’m still talking with them,” LaBatte’s agent, Tim Fleiszer, said late Wednesday afternoon. “I actually gotta call (head coach Paul LaPolice) back in the next little bit here. We’re still talking, and we’re just trying to find a way to make it work.”

LaPolice Tweeted on Wednesday night the Bombers will have a “player announcement” on Thursday.

BROWNE BACK: The Bombers have eight potential free agents remaining after inking backup safety Brady Browne to a new contract on Wednesday.

Browne, who played for the University of Manitoba Bisons, missed most of the 2011 season with a torn biceps. The 28-year-old got hurt in the first game but returned for the playoffs.

“Not only does Brady excel at the special teams aspect of the game, but he also gives us great depth at the safety position,” Bombers GM Joe Mack said in a press release. “We’re happy to have him back in Winnipeg.”

Browne has appeared in 27 games for the Bombers, including five starts at safety, and has 15 tackles, 12 special teams tackles, a sack, an interception and two fumble recoveries.

In addition to Carr and LaBatte, right tackle Glenn January, right guard Steve Morley, left tackle Andre Douglas, backup quarterback Alex Brink, receiver Aaron Hargreaves and defensive tackle Don Oramasionwu are still eligible to hit the market next week.

REMEMBER HIM?: Just when you might have thought he was no longer in their plans, Canadian running back Anthony Woodson signed a contract with the Bombers on Wednesday.

The Bombers picked Woodson in the fourth round of the CFL draft two years ago, but he didn’t participate in either of the last two training camps, the first one because of injury.

“When they drafted me, my full intention was to inevitably end up with them,” Woodson said Wednesday. “But one of the first things that my dad always taught me was the importance of school and loyalty and such, so I really wanted to finish first my degree and I wanted to finish my relationship with my university team.”

Woodson led the Canada West conference in rushing in 2007 with the Calgary Dinos, but his CIS career was plagued by serious injuries. He’s ready to turn pro and will battle for a special teams spot.

“It was a long time coming, but I am pumped,” Woodson said. “It’s almost rejuvenating signing with them, because I’m pumped to come out there.”


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