Winnipeg Blue Bombers release veteran kicker Marc Liegghio

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released 25 players and assigned 13 others to the practice roster on Saturday to get down to a league-mandated 45-man roster by 10 p.m. CT.

The most notable name among the players released was kicker Marc Liegghio, who last year held down all three jobs as the Blue Bombers’ punter and placekicker while also handling kickoff duties.

But the 26-year-old Woodbridge, Ont., native who was Winnipeg’s fifth-round pick of the 2020 Canadian Football League Draft, also missed some crucial convert and field goal attempts throughout his two seasons in Blue and Gold — most notably in the 24-23 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in the 2022 Grey Cup game at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.

Liegghio missed a convert following a Janarion Grant 102-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and then had a potential 47-yard game-winning field goal attempt blocked with just under a minute remaining on the clock.

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The Blue Bombers also had an opportunity for a 10-0 start to the 2022 season in an eventual 20-17 overtime loss to the visiting Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 11 at IG Field.

Liegghio missed wide left on a 32-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the fourth quarter, and then hit the right upright from 34 yards out to prevent Winnipeg from extending the extra period.

For his career in the CFL, the former Western Ontario Mustang great was good on 37 of 47 field goal attempts (78.7 per cent) and also missed eight of 69 convert attempts (88.4 per cent).

The Blue Bombers quickly jumped at the chance to sign Sergio Castillo on May 4, just minutes after the veteran placekicker was released by the Edmonton Elks. Winnipeg also selected punters Jamieson Sheahan (Australia) and Karl Schmitz (Bermuda) in the 2023 global draft.

Barring any changes to the roster for Friday’s home and season opener versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it would appear as though Sheahan will take care of the punting chores, while Schmitz is among those players added to the practice roster.

Released from the roster:

  • American quarterback Josh Jones
  • American receiver Manasseh Bailey
  • American receiver Sean Coyne
  • American receiver Braxton Westfield
  • American receiver Tavaris Harrison
  • American receiver Brendan Beaulieu
  • American receiver Gavin Garner
  • American running back Kevon Latulas
  • American running back Vance Barnes
  • American running back Jordan Salima
  • American offensive lineman Kelvin Ateman
  • American offensive lineman Desmond Bessent
  • American defensive end Joe Beckett
  • American defensive end DeJaun Cooper
  • American defensive end Aaron Sterling
  • American defensive tackle Keenan Agnew
  • American linebacker Barrington Wade
  • American kicker Chandler Staton
  • American defensive back Karon Delince
  • national kicker Marc Liegghio
  • national defensive back Jordan Veltri
  • national defensive back Jacob Janke
  • national defensive back Bret MacDougall
  • national linebacker Max Charbonneau
  • national offensive lineman Cole Adamson

Added to the practice roster:

  • American running back Greg McCrae
  • American offensive lineman Drew Richmond
  • American offensive lineman Chris Ivy
  • American long-snapper Damian Jackson
  • American defensive back Abu Daramy-Swaray
  • American defensive back/returner Matt Cole
  • American defensive tackle Caleb Thomas
  • American receiver Amare Jones
  • national offensive lineman Jakub Szott
  • national receiver Jeremy Murphy
  • global offensive lineman Tomoya Machino
  • global defensive back Souleymane Karamoko
  • global punter Karl Schmitz

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