From the FP:
IT'S not about drawing a line in the sand or being difficult.
But when it comes to receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris -- his agent Gil Scott told FOXSports.com Wednesday night the 22-year-old would enter this spring's NFL draft -- the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are now prepared to make something very clear: they expect him to be wearing their colours this coming season.
"He is a player under contract just like any other player under contract and we have an expectation he will abide by it," said Bomber assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson from Vancouver, where he is attending the annual CFL Congress. "Otherwise, this is a dangerous door to open."
This issue isn't without precedent, however. Back in 1995 the Bombers drafted receiver Tamarick Vanover in the dispersal draft of Las Vegas Posse players after that franchise folded. Vanover was also drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the spring of '95 -- he had been an all-American punt returner at Florida State -- and the Bombers then essentially sold his rights to the Chiefs.
All that said, the Bombers did speak to representatives from the CFL office Thursday morning to clarify some issues, namely what happens if Jeffers-Harris is drafted -- and that would be a long shot given his contractual obligation to the CFL for one more season -- or if a team expressed interest in signing him as a free agent after the draft?
In the end, while the Bombers were aware this issue could arise the minute they signed a player with college eligibility remaining as Jeffers-Harris did not play with Vanderbilt after transferring from Connecticut because of academic issues, the conclusion the organization came to over the last few days is this: they will not let him out of his current deal and won't let him work out with NFL teams in advance of the draft.
"This has created some significant concern," Hodgkinson said. "There seems to be this notion that because he may be drafted this makes this a special situation and a special circumstance different than any other player that wants to go to the NFL. (Bomber receiver) Greg Carr wants to go to the NFL, so should we just let him go? Why would we let a player under contract work out for an NFL team, because we're Good Samaritans? What happens if he gets hurt working out for an NFL team?
"We are talking about a player under contract, similar to any other player we have under contract. Do you want to set a precedent, for whatever reason, and then what happens when 41 other guys under contract come knocking on your door and say, 'I live in Toronto, I want to go play in Toronto?' We simply can't have that happen."