Tuesday was the day anything could happen in the CFL, and despite a ‘disappointing’ start, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came up big.
The Blue and Gold said just before 4 p.m. they had secured international defensive end Willie Jefferson to a one-year deal.
Jefferson, 6-6, 245 lbs from Beaumont Texas, spent the last three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He won a Grey Cup in 2015 with the Edmonton Eskimos.
“Being able to add such a dynamic defensive player to what we already feel is a strong unit is certainly very exciting for us,” said Blue Bombers General Manager Kyle Walters in a written statement.
CFL Free Agency began at 11 a.m. CT on Feb. 12 with several dozen players throughout the league up for grabs.
Sukh Chungh was the first move directly affecting the Bombers — it was confirmed at about 12:15 p.m. that the key offensive lineman had signed with the B.C. Lions.
Just before 3 p.m., the Bombers revealed receiver Nic Demski was signed to a two-year contract.
680 CJOB and Global News held an online expert panel starting at 11 a.m. to weigh in on all the moves and keep people up-to-date on happenings within their favourite teams, especially the Bombers.
The panel was hosted by 680 CJOB Sports Show host Christian Aumell. Panelists included Bob Irving, Doug Brown, Russ Hobson, Ted Wyman, Greg Mackling and Geoff Currier.
WATCH: Bob Irving says the Bombers are in ‘pretty good shape’ regardless of free agency outcomes
With no signings announced prior to the end of the panel at 2 p.m., those around the table voiced some concern.
Wyman, sports editor for the Winnipeg Sun, said the lack of activity on the part of the home football team was a bit of a disappointment.
“They lost good players … and they haven’t really brought in anything to improve the positions,” Wyman said.
“The big names only stay on the board so long.”
“They say ‘if you are not getting better, your are getting worse’, and at least four teams in this league did not get better today … Winnipeg is one of them,” Currier said. “The balance of power has shifted — Edmonton and B.C. the big winners on paper today.”
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had 14 free agents, including Chungh, safety Taylor Loffler and receiver Weston Dressler. However, the Blue and Gold locked up several key players, like Adam Bighill, well in advance of Free Agency day.
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