Kent the deepest Bombers cut

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:56 AM ET

WINNIPEG - There are cuts that draw yawns, cuts that raise eyebrows and cuts that downright shock.

The Big Blue handing three-year veteran Clint Kent the pink slip, Friday, is not a shocker in the vein of, say, the release of future Hall of Famer Chris Walby in another era.

Kent’s never been a CFL all-star and nobody’s working on his bust out in Hamilton.

But it’s an eyebrow raiser, for sure.

And it begs a question: are the Bombers that obsessed with youth that there’s no room for a 28-year-old considered by their own defensive co-ordinator as one of the more underrated players in the CFL?

That’s what Tim Burke called Kent less than two weeks ago.

“Very underrated — he’s a very good football player in this league,” Burke said.

Apparently, he’s so underrated he got cut, sending shock waves through the team and producing more than one teammate’s “WTF” through the closely monitored Twitterverse.

One of the more humble members of Swaggerville, Kent was one of those players teammates look up to, a defensive captain for a reason. “Leadership. Enthusiasm,” Burke continued that day. “He’s very intelligent, so he helps get everybody lined up. And then he just plays all-out all the time.”

Hearing that from the man in charge of the defence one week, and seeing Kent hit football’s unemployment line the next, is a head-scratcher.

Unlike Odell Willis, the guy hadn’t worn out his welcome in the front office.

In fact, Kent’s off-season was quiet as a church mouse compared to a couple other members of the dirty dozen.

Of course, he was no all-star like Jovon Johnson and Jonathan Hefney. Just a solid player with a few years under his belt, seemingly ready to peak.

If you’re a Bomber fan, I suppose on one hand you should be delighted over this news. Because there’s obviously somebody better than Kent ready to move into Swaggerville.

At least, there had better be.

“The deepest position on our team is defensive back, where probably (we have) some of the best talent I’ve seen in a long time,” head man Paul LaPolice said. “When they got an opportunity in games they made a tremendous amount of plays.”

Newcomer Demond Washington has to top that list.

But isn’t experience worth anything anymore?

I’m not sure how much this regime values it.

It’s been a recurring theme on Maroons Road since GM Joe Mack took over: lose a good player, shrug, and go find another one (Greg Carr and Donnie Oramasionwu, we hardly knew ya).

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a handy ability to have.

Mack has unearthed what seems to be a solid crop of receivers and running backs over the last few months, too.

But he’s not cultivating continuity.

LaPolice was preaching the importance of that quality just the other day, at least when it comes to his coaching staff.

Players, they’re disposable.

Especially if they’re within spitting distance of hitting the Big 3-oh.

“You try to just play the best player... more so than their age,” LaPolice said, denying Kent’s birth certificate had anything to do with it.

Perhaps there is a method to this, a not-so-subtle message to anyone who might get a tad complacent in his gig in blue and gold.

Complacency, after all, has been the downfall of more than one Bomber coach over the years.

This move certainly got everybody’s attention, even if it wasn’t popular in the locker-room.

“We can’t live in that world,” LaPolice said.

No, they can’t.

But the one they’re in sometimes seems so temporary.


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