The B.C. Lions releasing fullback Rolly Lumbala was strictly about roster construction.
“The reality is that we were planning on bringing him to camp, but then Brett Boyko came up. We have a cap to deal with and when it comes down to it, when you start looking at your numbers and you start looking at the cap and you really start looking at the depth,” Lions general manager Ed Hervey said on TSN radio in Vancouver.
The Lions signed Boyko on May 15. He was the team’s 2015 second round CFL draft pick. Boyko was the top-rated prospect in his CFL class but fell to the Lions because of concerns over his NFL opportunities.
Though he went unselected in the NFL Draft, Boyko spent parts of four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers, mostly on the practice squad. He played in one regular-season contest in 2017.
“We looked at Brett Boyko offensive lineman coming in, we looked at Rolly Lumbala and we looked at David Mackie and Wayne Moore and we said we’re pretty solid at that position. When your potential ratio-changing offensive lineman comes in and says he wants to play we have to make room,” Hervey said.
“That’s the dirty side of the business of this sport. I personally don’t get caught in the relationships or how long someone’s has been around, I try to put together a good football team.”
The 33-year-old Lumbala was the Lions’ longest-serving player. Lumbala played 188 regular season games and 11 seasons all with B.C. He was a strong special teams competitor while rushing 44 times for 169 yards and five touchdowns and 59 catches for 471 yards and two touchdowns.