Winnipeg – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers addition and subtraction of players to make up the training camp roster for 2017 took a notable turn on Tuesday. Just two weeks ahead of the start of CFL Free Agency, the Blue Bombers released Canadian Defensive Tackle Keith Shologan and Receiver/Returner Quincy McDuffie.
Shologun was a key free agent signing for Bombers GM Kyle Walters last February. But the 31 year old from Northern Alberta had a non-impactful season along the interior of the Defensive Line with 22 tackles and only 2 Quarterback sacks.
Based on today’s decision, it’s reasonable to suggest those weren’t the kind of numbers the Blue Bombers were expecting from the former Ottawa RedBlack and Saskatchewan Roughrider who was reportedly being paid around 150 thousand dollars.
McDuffie is a pending free agent who has been given his release to pursue an NFL opportunity.
The release of a ratio breaker like Shologan might have a ripple effect on how the rest of the Winnipeg starting lineup shakes out for 2017. The Blue Bombers are also not expected to make an attempt to re-sign another 2016 free agent addition in Euclid Cummings. A sure sign that one of the priorities for GM Kyle Walters for the coming season- and beyond- is improving the D Line in general. And the pass rush in particular.
The Blue Bombers have also released Canadian running back Pascal Lochard. The former BC Lion had just 8 carries for 33 yards as a backup to Andrew Harris and impressive rookie Timothy Flanders.
A few other items to watch out for regarding the Bombers in the coming days and weeks. Conversations are reportedly continuing with Receiver Clarence Denmark. And Assistant Offensive Line Coach Marty Costello is a leading candidate to replace Bob Wylie after he left the team earlier this month to accept an offer to join the NFL’s Cleveland Browns as that team’s new Offensive Line Coach.