According to TSN CFL Insider Dave Naylor of The Globe and Mail, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have told disgruntled middle linebacker Barrin Simpson not to attend practice or meetings with the team.
Simpson has been an uncomfortable fit with Winnipeg since two weeks ago going public with his desire to be traded after he was asked to take a reduced role on defence.
However, he continued to attend practice and meetings while waiting hopefully for a trade.
But today head coach Mike Kelly said that based on reading the mood of the locker room, Simpson won't be back.
“We've asked him on several occasions to changed his position (on being traded),” said Kelly. “We're in a position where the locker room has spoken so Barrin won't be around here as he was the past two weeks. It came from our locker room, it was time for a change.”
Simpson believes the Bombers latest move may constitute a breach of contract.
“Basically they're telling me we don't want you to do your job anymore, you're not allowed around here anymore,” said Simpson, who was second in the CFL in tackles until two weeks ago. “They've told me to stay away so I have to stay away.”
“There's no grounds for suspending me – they've asked me not to come so does that terminate my contract: that is the question.”
“I have nothing bad to say about the organization. But if that's what you want that leaves no grounds to suspend me for not being here.”
Simpson has missed the past two games after playing Winnipeg's first eight contests with a turf toe injury. The Bombers placed him on the team's nine-game injured list against his wishes, so Simpson appealed to the league. Later in the day, the league released the following statement regarding the injury list and Barrin Simpson;
"After a review of all of the issues and a careful consideration of the situation, the Commissioner, in consultation with the Board and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, has determined the player in question will be placed on the one game injured list. The Blue Bombers have raised some important issues, and the interpretation of our by-laws will continue to be considered after the season."
Simpson's agent Mark Maren stated that he was glad that they can now move forward.
"Obviously we're pleased with the decision that the league made today," Maren told THE CANADINA PRESS. "We're just hopeful we all can move on from this and the Bombers will work towards fulfilling Barrin's request to be traded."
The Bombers have made two trades this week but didn't include Simpson in either of them.
"To be honest, there hasn't been that much interest in him," said Kelly.
Dave Naylor is a reporter for The Globe and Mail who appears regularly on TSN The Reporters.