The two-time defending Grey Cup champions announced on Wednesday they have agreed to a one year extension with defensive lineman Jake Thomas.
“If I was going to play, I knew it was going to be in Winnipeg,” Thomas said on the CJOB Sports Show Wednesday night. “Just making sure everything made sense for my family, but my wife gave me the go-ahead so it made things easier.”
The Douglas, N.B., native celebrated his 31st birthday last month and appears to be an example of an athlete who is getting better with age.
Thomas suited up for all 14 regular season games for the Blue Bombers in 2021 and contributed 15 defensive tackles and 4 quarterback sacks. Based on a full 18-game schedule, those totals were just off his career best numbers of 22 DTs and five QBs during the 2019 season.
“I think the year off was tough to not be able to play but for older guys like myself, it was a year less of taking hits on the body,” Thomas explained. “I was able to recover a lot more and my body feels great.”
Thomas saved perhaps his best game of the ’21 campaign for when it mattered most, with four defensive tackles and a quarterback sack in the 33-25 overtime win at Hamilton versus the hometown Tiger Cats on Dec. 12 at Tim Horton’s Field in the 108th Grey Cup game.
“I thought in the first half I played okay but I was really happy with my second-half performance. Anytime you can win an overtime game, it’s going to be a crazy, special feeling.”
The former Canadian University standout at Acadia was a pending free agent and his return will solidify the interior of what is one of the best defensive lines in the CFL.
Thomas was selected by Winnipeg in the fourth round (29th overall) of the 2012 CFL draft and dressed for 14 games during his rookie season.
The six-foot-two-inch, 273-pound DT has played in 151 career games for the Blue Bombers, amassing nine season totals of 129 defensive tackles, 22 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, and his lone interception came in a wild 45-42 loss to the BC Lions on July 21, 2017, in Vancouver.
The Blue Bombers are scheduled to begin their quest for a third consecutive Grey Cup title when they host the Ottawa RedBlacks on Friday, June 10 at IG Field.
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