Bombers Lose Linebackers Bass, Burnett

Khalil Bass and Tony Burnett are moving on.

Bass has agreed to terms with the Ottawa REDBLACKS, who’ve subsequently released weak-side LB Damaso Munoz to make room for Bass. BC and Montreal were seen as possible destinations for the Bombers’ 2015 Most Outstanding Rookie, but Ottawa clearly saw Bass as a perfect scheme fit and went out of their way to grab him.

(Funny note: Ottawa could have signed Bass years ago. He attended two of their mini-camps and was never awarded an invitation to training camp).

The Bombers will likely have an open competition in training camp to fill Bass’ now-open middle linebacker spot. Kyle Knox, who was primarily a designated import playing on special-teams after missing all of camp with an injury, is the favorite at this point.

Burnett, who, seeing as the Bombers seem intent on keeping Ian Wild, wasn’t viewed as an option to replace Bass, as he’s not a MIKE, is going out west to Vancouver. The Lions are expected to give him every opportunity to replace Adam Bighill, and for approximately $90,000 per season, inking Burnett to a deal is one of the best signings of the day. Burnett, a tremendous athlete that played corner in college for the USC Trojans, is great in coverage and showed a really quick first-step at weak-side linebacker for the Bombers. From a schematic stand-point, Burnett was easily BC’s best available option on the market to replace Bighill.

The 26-year-old made five starts at weak-side linebacker in 2016 for the injured Ian Wild, and finished 6th in the CFL in special-teams tackles.

More to come on the departures of both these players soon.

In other news, the Bombers are bringing back Canadian linebacker Sam Hurl. Don’t be fooled, though – Hurl won’t be making six figures again on his second contract with the blue and gold. The ship has sailed already in terms of Hurl’s prospects of competing for a job as a starter at MIKE. Hurl, however, is a fairly effective special-teamer and, along with Jesse Briggs, is a welcome re-signing.

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