Bombers cut Kent
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Linebacker Clint Kent works out during Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp on Monday at Canad Inns Stadium. (QMI Agency)
WINNIPEG - It was a shocking cut, if only because no one saw it coming.
The Bombers whacked strong-side linebacker Clint Kent on Friday, saying the glut of talented defensive backs made his dismissal feasible.
It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, though. GM Joe Mack has made it crystal clear over the last 28 months that he’s a big fan of young and inexpensive talent. If someone younger and cheaper can fill a roster spot, well, here’s your locker, son.
“It’s crazy,” Kent said Friday, about an hour after being told his services were no longer required. “To me, I think I had the best camp I ever had since I’ve been playing in the CFL. I did everything to perfection. It’s shocking news, but it’s part of the business.”
The 28-year-old played the first quarter of Wednesday’s pre-season finale against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with the rest of the first-team defence. “I thought they were saving me from getting hurt,” he said.
Kent was also a defensive captain, which is probably why veteran safety Ian Logan was wondering why the transaction happened.
“At a loss for words,” Logan wrote on his Twitter feed after the news broke. “WOW. #WTF.”
The Bombers released 11 other players on Friday: defensive tackles Dorian Smith, Andre Caroll and Ryan Lucas, receivers Doug Pierce, Cassidy Doneff and Isaac Anderson, offensive linemen Brendan Dunn and Shannon Boatman, defensive back Jeremy McGee, running back Bloi-Dei Dorzon and linebacker Terrell Parker.
Some of the released players have been offered practice roster spots, including Pierce and Dorzon.
The Bombers aren’t saying who will replace Kent at the outside linebacker spot, which is basically a sixth defensive back. Halfback Jonathan Hefney played in Kent’s spot last season when the latter was injured for the first two games, but he apparently wrote on Twitter that he won’t be playing linebacker.
Brandon Stewart and Johnny Sears are other possibilities to replace Kent, who had 56 tackles, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble, one tackle for a loss, four sacks, 12 special teams tackles and three pass knockdowns last season for Winnipeg’s league-leading defence.
The new defensive backs, who are ultimately the ones who pushed Kent out, are Demond Washington and Darrell Pasco, who joined the team late last season. Deon Beasley is also still in the picture, as are Canadian backups Brady Browne and Dan West, a rookie.
Kent wasn’t given a specific reason for his dismissal, but he took the news like a pro.
“Hopefully I get picked up, but if I don’t there’s life after football,” he said. “I’ve been seriously looking at life after football. I got a degree. I want to coach and stay in the game I love. If I don’t get picked up, it’s time to go to work.”