All-star defensive tackle Bryant Turner says it was a no-brainer for him to sign an extension with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers through 2016.
Turner said Thursday there may be some morale building next season for a team that finished 3-15 in 2013, but he believes the Bombers have players who are committed to winning and the city has the best football fans in the world.
As for new head coach Mike O’Shea, Turner says he isn’t that familiar with him. But he called friend Swayze Waters in Toronto to get the lowdown and liked what he heard from the kicker about the former Argos special teams co-ordinator.
Turner wasn’t one of those players set to enter the free agent marketplace but he thanked the Bombers for wanting to keep him around.
Winnipeg general manager Kyle Walters was also happy to keep Turner in the Bombers lineup.
“Bryant has proven to be among the elite defensive lineman in our league, but it’s as much of his on field play as his off field characteristics that make him such valuable asset to our organization,” he said in announcing the extension.
“His professionalism, work ethic, and overall desire to be a winner, along with his outstanding football ability, make this a great extension for us.”
Turner was tied for the team lead with seven sacks last season and added 14 tackles and two fumble recoveries en route to being named an East Division all-star for the second straight season.
In 2012, he was named to the CFL all-star team after recording 20 tackles, six sacks and one fumble recovery.
The Bombers also announced Thursday they had released kicker Sandro DeAngelis after only one season.
DeAngelis, an eight-season CFL veteran and three time league all-star, was signed by the Bombers in August and took over kicking duties from Justin Palardy, who was released the same month.
But his numbers were only slightly better with an average of 78.3 per cent on field goal attempts compared with Palardy’s 75 per cent.