Bombers axe Picard, O-lineman’s hefty salary
DOMINIC Picard’s game has always been about grit, about toughness, about doing anything possible — most of it legal — to gain an advantage along the line of scrimmage.
And now the veteran centre is again looking for a new team to appreciate all those qualities after being released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Wednesday.
The move isn’t all that surprising, given the play of Matthias Goossen at the end of the 2015 season with Picard on the injured list. And with the veteran centre also earning in excess of $190,000, he also became a victim of the salary cap.
The Bombers signed Goossen, selected second overall in 2014, to a three-year contract extension earlier this month and drafted him to be their centre when he was ready. Adding Picard last winter not only gave the Bombers a grizzled presence in the middle of their O-line, he was also the perfect tutor for Goossen.
Picard started 14 games in 2015 before being injured. Goossen’s play impressed Bombers brass so much they were ready to have the starting chores handed to him long term.
Originally drafted by the Bombers in 2006, Picard spent three seasons with the club before signing with Toronto and then the Riders as a free agent. His perseverance in overcoming testicular cancer earlier in his career was evident whenever he stepped on the field, where he played every snap like it might be his last. He was an East Division all-star in 2011 and the Riders’ top O-lineman in two of the three seasons he played in Saskatchewan.
This past October he played in his 150th career CFL game.