"If that is the direction
they want to go in ... they should make him the man and trade me up out of
there," Charles Roberts told the Sun
yesterday. "I have no problem with going elsewhere."
Considering Roberts looks to be
the cornerstone of Winnipeg’s offense while the team gels under first-year head
coach Doug Berry’s new scheme, such a distraction three weeks before training
camp begins is hardly a best-case scenario.
Always a hard-working, consistent
contributor to the team, Roberts has apparently bristled at the Blue Bombers’
pursuit of Onterrio Smith, who was suspended from the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings after
failing drug tests and being caught in the Minneapolis airport in possession of
a drug masking apparatus called the Original Whizzinator.
Already prepared to lose carries
to Winnipeg’s new pass-oriented offense, Roberts told the Sun, "I'm not trying to be selfish. I hope people don't
take it the wrong way. But if they were in my shoes, after five years of steady
play, you don't want to have a lesser role."
Roberts’ feelings might be a
little easier to smooth over if the club’s management offered a more
sympathetic ear to his concerns.
Apparently, however, Winnipeg general manager Brendan Taman isn’t
biting. In his statement to the Sun, Taman appeared unmoved.
"We haven't had one rep on
the field yet and he's saying (that)... he's entertaining, I'll say that,"
Taman said. "The bottom line in this whole thing is whatever gives us the
best chance to win. If Charles has to run for 400 yards and we go 16-2, so be
it. If he rushes for 2,000 yards and we go 4-14, I don't like that idea."