CFL free agency begins in just four days time and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers still have 15 players on expiring contracts who could potentially hit the open market.
“Tuesday will be an interesting day to see how it unfolds,” General Manager Kyle Walters said.
The Bombers are already ahead of the game after they signed half of their free agents. But a number of starters still don’t have a contract. The offensive line has been the backbone of this team for a number of years, but with the recent retirement of Matthias Goossen, getting a deal done with Sukh Chungh remains a top priority.
“We’ve been talking non-stop,” Walters said.
“They know Matthias retired long before the public did. So they had that knowledge. We have a price point, and they have a price point. And it’s just a matter of, can we figure it out or not, and if they think they can more on the open market, that’s why the system is the system.”
“I know we’d like to have him back, and I’m quite sure he’d like to be back, but sometimes in sport with a hard salary cap, it doesn’t always work like that.”
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Another player the Bombers would like to have back is linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox. The two sides remain far apart in negotiations, and it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll be moving on after his breakout season.
“He’s certainly looking to capitalize on that as he should,” Walters said. “We have talked numbers, but as I said, Jovan’s group and us are a long way apart I think from getting anything done.”
Another starter who will definitely be hitting the open market is Taylor Loffler. He’s been an all-star at safety in each of his first three seasons in the CFL and is in for a big raise.
“Taylor is going to explore free agency,” Walters said.
“Him and his agent have said that, basically right from the end of the season, that this was their plan, and they’ve been open, and honest, and upfront, and said this is what they’d like to try and do.”
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Defensive lineman Trent Corney has also worn the blue and gold for the last time. According to Walters, the 25-year-old has decided to retire after he missed all but three games last season with an injury.
“I think Trent is going to move on from football,” Walters said. “I think he’s decided that for his own health, that he’s going to move on from football.”
Keep in mind the Bombers do have two first round picks in the upcoming CFL draft to try and re-stock the cupboards if all else fails in free agency.
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