Félix Ménard-Brière joins Redblacks after refusing PR spot with Bombers

Félix Ménard-Brière was released yesterday morning by the Blue Bombers, a roster move that came fourteen hours after the club’s announcement of its final cuts.

Ménard-Brière was offered a spot on Winnipeg’s practice roster, an offer he found unpalatable after a great preseason. The Bombers then spent the final hours prior to Sunday’s cut-down deadline seeking a trade partner for Ménard-Brière, though a deal was not consummated in time.

The Bombers were surprised at Ménard-Brière’s decision, I’m told.

Ménard-Brière connected on all four of his field goal attempts during the preseason, including boots of 43 and 52 yards. He also punted 13 times for a net average of 35.1 yards, a number that was virtually identical to Medlock’s mark of 35.4 from last season.

Choosing Medlock over Ménard-Brière could be a costly decision for the Bombers. Medlock, 34, is ten years older than Ménard-Brière, an international, and significantly more expensive. Ménard-Brière could have handled all three kicking jobs for Winnipeg at a more affordable rate for the foreseeable future without using a coveted designated import spot.

Winnipeg drafted Ménard-Brière in the fourth round of last year’s CFL draft. He spent the first part of last season on the Bombers’ practice roster before reporting to the Carabins for his final season of USports eligibility.

Ménard-Brière has since joined the Redblacks’ practice roster, a team with whom he feels he is more likely to win the kicking contest.

The Bombers now have just two players remaining from last year’s draft class — McGill offensive lineman Qadr Spooner (15th overall) and Alberta receiver Tylor Henry (68th overall). The club also maintains the rights to Manitoba offensive lineman Geoff Gray.

John Hodge

John Hodge

John Hodge is a lifelong follower of the CFL who has been writing about the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist of the Jon Gott lookalike contest.
John Hodge
John Hodge
About John Hodge (377 Articles)
John Hodge is a lifelong follower of the CFL who has been writing about the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist of the Jon Gott lookalike contest.

34 Comments on Félix Ménard-Brière joins Redblacks after refusing PR spot with Bombers

  1. WoundedinWinnipeg. // June 11, 2018 at 10:46 am //

    Possible mistake.
    Is that possible John Hodge.
    Riders and Jones is at fault.

  2. if its close the younger cheaper player should get the job IMHOP this was close I think the kid has a great future…. bombers lost red black gain

    • Blue rules // June 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm //

      Joe, That would be foolish perhaps out right dumb! Based on your theory Bombers would also make Streveler #1 QB after the first pre season game because he went 10 for 10. One game does not make a career. Medlock is a proven vet good under pressure. He has established himself as a top kicker only a fool would dump him for a one day showing from a rookie!

      • Paul Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm //

        Too funny… just reading your comment as they’re saying on the radio that Streveler is taking first-team reps this morning… so maybe they did!! (I know-I know… you meant before Nichols’ injury).
        You may be right, I just wish they tried harder to keep F.M-B around.

        • Blue rules // June 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm //

          Paul, Agree a backup kicker is valuable, PR not much fun, but you need to earn your way onto the team.

    • Cat Fan // June 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm //

      Trouble is … one game may not translate to a good season.

  3. If the kid can do all 3 jobs reliably, that’s a great move by the Redblacks. And if not, then there’s really no downside. Good work, GMMD.

  4. The REDBLACKS just released Sergio Castillo because they liked the Canadian Ward, they also kept Rich Leone as a punter.
    I was at the game Thursday night in Guelph and Leone was launching some great punts, if the kicker goes down he’s a great filler.
    How do you choose between two Canadian rookies? Ward or Briere? neither have kicked in a CFL regular season game.

  5. Bill deHoog // June 11, 2018 at 11:18 am //

    potentially a good move…maybe employ 2 national punters, which will free up an international spot on active roster

  6. Paul Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 11:18 am //

    One of a number of head-scratching decisions made in Wpg at the cut-down. I hope O’Shea is doing the smart thing and not the loyal thing. Medlock should have been released in favor of this probably cheaper Canadian who can kick almost as good and punt much better.
    Ottawa got a good one here!

    • Are you kidding here? Medlock is a 10 year veteran of pro ball, and for most of his CFL career has been the best kicker in the league. Felix M-B has yet to kick in a single regular season game.

      Menard-Briere made a smart move to go to Ottawa where he can effectively compete for the placekicking job. But it would have been nuts for the Bombers to choose him over Medlock.

      • Paul Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm //

        So, yeah, I understand what you get w/Medlock, but hear me out for a second – Firstly, they didn’t HAVE to release Medlock, just keep F M-B as a punter & kick-offs, Medlock for field goals – it’s why he was brought here in the first place, then you have a back-up plan. Plus, Medlock is 34 and always seems to be talking about retiring. On top of that, Medlock takes up an import spot, had just about the worst FG % in the league last year (granted, it still wasn’t bad) and also when he missed last year, it was often at key moments.
        BUT… just thinking out loud here. I don’t pretend to know more than the Bomber brain trust (ok… so occasionally I pretend to know more)

        • Excellent post Paul Bomber, your analysis explains why the Bombers “releasing” Menard-Briere was a stupid move. The Bombers SHOULD have kept Menard-Briere on the starting roster to assess MB’s ability to kick field goals and once he established that he is able to kick field goals the Bombers should have cut Medlock. If MB can do all three kicking job he is 10 years younger, cheaper, and would free up a roster spot since Medlock cannot do all three kicking jobs. Bombers likely thought MB would accept a Practice Roster spot since he was on the PR last season and when MB refused the practice roster spot offered to him the Bombers were surprised, caught off-guard, and had no choice but to release him when they could not find a trading partner to cut their loss. At the end of the day not keeping MB is a really dumb move but the RedBlacks gain.
          The Bombers are not the only team to make a dumb move on cut-down day; the Alouettes now have good company…LOL.

          • Paul Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm //

            Won’t really know if it’s a stupid move for a few months… even if it seems like a bad move, it may have been a sacrifice for some big picture thing. If they’re winning games, it’s the right move!

          • BC Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 4:39 pm //

            While I see the wisdom in keep MB on the roster as punter and hope he will replace JM in a year or two, the next question would be WHO would the BBs have cut instead? I do think they HAVE to keep Medlock this year because he wins games, and until the D is proven to improve and Nichols is back, those 3 pointers will be critical.

  7. Deux Fans // June 11, 2018 at 11:35 am //

    The guy is a so so kicker (maybe not CFL ready), but he is a top notch punter who can change the momentum of a game.

    Great kid, smart, and he is a very fast runner (trick play anybody?)

    • Change the momentum of a game? Are you nuts?? He’s a frickin’ kicker man! LOL. Peyton Manning said it best.

  8. This is clear stat watching without context. There were two line drive punts that were taken back, one for a touchdown. They were negated by penalties which saved his net average. He also shanked a punt.

    He is very promising, but the idea that he is close to Medlock right now is silly

    • Paul Bomber // June 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm //

      The shank is regrettable, but the placement on the punts can be fixed. I guess there are always competing needs, but I liked the idea of keeping him around. Who knows… maybe him going made room for the next Joe Poplawski.

  9. a full of him self kicker??? who’d of thought..

  10. BlueBomberChris // June 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm //

    It’s pretty easy to see why he chose on PR over the other. Ott has an unproven younger kicker at the moment and he could flounder at any moment (Medlock too but there is more history to go on) so FMB probably thinks he’ll have a better chance of getting the job in Ott quicker than in Wpg.

    Plus let’s all remember that he is still on the PR there. Nothing stopping Wpg from signing him off of their PR if Medlock goes down, flounders or retires at the end of the season (provided he isn’t on active roster)

  11. BC Dave // June 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm //

    I always get a laugh out of, “He has never kicked in a CFL game.” Guess by that standard, the Lions were foolish to sign Lui. Until he kicked in his first game, he had never kicked in a CFL game either.

    Not saying they should have kept him or not. despite all the opinions here, only time will tell if it was the right move. Maybe the bombers felt without Nicjols to start, they might have trouble with scoring TDs and it would be beneficial to have a proven kicker. Who really knows for sure? We can speculate til the cows come home but the only way we will know if to hear the rationale from Bomber personnel.

  12. For this kicker, it’s a great move by the RBs. Ward pretty much as the place kicking job, based on his perfect pre-season record. It’s not like a WR or DB where they can fail under real pressure, where as a FG kicker can do just as good in the regular season. Richie Leone is a great punter, however, much like Maher, can’t expect for this guy to stick around forever, especially when he may cost a lot, is aging, and it american.
    If a Canadian can do just as well, can be cheaper, and can do all jobs successfully, it is worth it, and we aren’t losing anything either way.

  13. BC Bomber your comment to my post is very insightful and best explains why the Bombers may have kept Medlock. To Paul Bomber, in regard to the Bombers having to release MB in favour of Medlock being a “stupid” move, I was thinking more in the “long term” what would likely be in the best interests of the Bombers team given that that MB is ten years younger then Medlock and the fact that MB can do all three kicking jobs. However, given the comment by BC Bomber, the Bombers choosing to release MB in favour of Medlock at least makes SOME sense and appears on the surface at least to be a “logical” decision.

  14. Tiger man // June 12, 2018 at 9:47 am //

    Without witnessing his activities at training camp and being subject to all the meetings and information that the coaches have, it’s hard to judge why he was let go.

    Perhaps, Briere knows something about the reason for his cut that he’s not sharing. Or, maybe, Bombers want to remain with a known and proven commodity in Medlock.

  15. Félix Ménard-Briére must think he’s the best thing player in the CFL. If he’s the good then why does Mênard want to be the best back up quarterback.

  16. Sun shines Rockies to McMahon // June 12, 2018 at 4:16 pm //

    Solid rumour has it that the Bombers GM Kyle Walters when trying to trade for a QB went for Brandon Bridge. Offering Félix Ménard-Briére knowing the Riders needed a kicker and Adrius Bowman. Bowman would be considered an easy come easy go free agent.
    Jones stated they just released a receiver that had a better season than Bowman. Told Walters if he was truly serious he would have had Harris on there instead of Bowman.

    • Lancaster/Reed // June 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm //

      If Jones really said Harris and FMB for Bridge, then he truly had zero intention to trade brandon. No way in hell Winnipeg trades their MOP for what is essentially a back up QB. They would be more likely to accept Durants offer to come out of retirement.

  17. 3rd & 1 // June 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm //

    Think about this for a second. The Bombers leader is out with Injury and now have to rely on a young and inexperienced QB. They need as many familiar Vet faces and as much support as possible. They need a sure thing right now to kick field goals, converts and so on. Medlock has the highest percentage out of all kickers. If Nichols was not injured and felt strong for the year. The Bombers could take a chance with Menard-Briere. Open up that import spot. For now they need all of their points players in place if they hope to get at least a victory in the first 4 weeks.
    I don’t usually feel sorry for Bomber fans. In fact quite the opposite. However i know how crappy that feels.
    in 2014 when Darian went down and the Bombers had signed the Riders back (Willy) the 2013-14 off season to be their starter. That move screwed both SK and Winnipeg. As we all know Willy is back up material. Not a starter at all. The rest of 2014 was bad after an 8-2 start.
    However 2015 for SK when Darian Durant went down 1st game, 1st half untouched with a torn ACL. The Riders had to use unproven QBs who failed mireably. Nothing like knowing your season is going to hell and it’s only the 1st game. That is hard to swallow. Of course you will have hope. As did I but there is no way that an inexperienced QB at the Pro level is going to perform miracles the 1st year.

  18. Still Waiting // June 14, 2018 at 7:45 am //

    Medlock already has his substantial signing bonus. Cap hit is the same going forward. Bombers reinforce the decision to sign Medlock by eliminating other options. We’ll never know the outcome of going the other way. Hope Medlock stays healthy. Good entertainment value watching JM on long returns avoiding contact. Me first kind of guy and why not.

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