The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have lost the first player from their Grey Cup championship club.
The Bombers announced they’ve released defensive end Jonathan Kongbo to allow him to pursue a contract in the NFL.
Kongbo just finished his first season with the blue and gold, and according to a statement from general manager Kyle Walters, they had a verbal agreement to release him if he received any interest from NFL teams.
“When we selected Jonathan in last year’s CFL Draft, he chose to sign with our organization rather than wait a season to continue training,” Walters said in a statement released by the team.
“This agreement came with the understanding that if he received any NFL interest, we would work with him to help him pursue those interests.”
The Bombers selected Kongbo in the first round of the 2019 CFL Draft with the fifth overall pick.
He was injured at the time, rehabbing from a serious knee injury.
The 23-year-old missed the first six games of the season, but ended up appearing in 12 regular season games in which he had 12 defensive tackles and one sack.
“Jonathan is a great young man and deserves the opportunity to explore all avenues in his career,” Walters said.
“We wish him the best and certainly will welcome his return if nothing comes to fruition in this regard.”
The Bombers have 25 other players who will become free agents on Feb. 11.
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