Jonathan Hefney may be making acrobatic picks for Calgary this year.After being cut by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week, defensive back Jonathan Hefney has landed on his feet with the Calgary Stampeders. That looks like a high-upside move for Calgary: Hefney's a two-time league all-star and a three-time divisional all-star who's just 28. Moreover, although Bombers head coach Tim Burke said on-field performance was "by far the No. 1 reason" he cut Hefney, the three-year contract extension Hefney received from general manager Joe Mack this offseason suggests his performance wasn't always viewed so negatively in Winnipeg. He's been a remarkable football player in the recent past, and there's little to suggest that's changed.
What has changed is the general perception of Hefney, though. His off-field marijuana possession charge has many criticizing him, though, including Yahoo!'s own Sandy Annunziata, and while there's a case to be made that the popular outrage over that is much ado about very little, the timing of Hefney's release suggests it was likely a significant factor in his departure from Winnipeg. Thus, the Stampeders are likely going to take some heat for bringing him in. Signing Hefney is a relatively low-risk gamble, though, and one that's all about what he can do on the field. If he can't live up to how he played in Winnipeg, he'll be an easy cut, but if he brings the level of performance he's capable of to Calgary, the Stampeders will have landed an all-star talent for nothing (and the Bombers will have lost one without gaining anything in return) largely because of an organizational difference in thinking on just how significant his off-field troubles are.Read More »from Stampeders’ gamble on former Bombers’ DB Jonathan Hefney could pay off big