WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have released Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba so he can pursue NFL opportunities.
Muamba is considering offers from the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts, all teams he worked out for in December.
He was slated to become a CFL free agent Feb. 11 but can sign with the team of his choice immediately.
Winnipeg selected Muamba first overall in the 2011 CFL draft and he's become a key member of their defence.
Last season he won the Lew Hayman Trophy as the outstanding Canadian player in the East Division.
Muamba is a native of Zaire -- which is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo -- but grew up in Mississauga, Ont. He played collegiately at St. Francis Xavier University.
Bombers GM Kyle Walters wished him well.
"Henoc is a great player and an even better person," he said in a statement. "The Winnipeg Blue Bombers wish him the best in his pursuit of employment in the National Football League, and sincerely thank him for his contributions, both on and off the field, with our organization."