Bomber Free Agency Discussion 2024

There’s a better than good chance the Bombers have tapped out in terms of discretionary money for “special guys”. Sheed prolly won’t get more than a $5k increase, if that. Ricky Walker walked, in fact ran west. Too bad, Betts is available but money-wise Walters is officially too pooped to pop!


Agree with everything you say pretty much, except I don’t think Holm has the potential to be better than Houston, I think he is already better than Houston.

I would say that Houston has the potential to be very good if he can improve his coverage skills and cut back on his riverboat gambling, which will also mean less interceptions but importantly less TD’s against. I don’t know the stats for sure or even if they are available, but my guess is that Houston gave up far more big plays than he had IT’s and I would expect also gave up more TD’s than he made IT’s.

Holm gave up a few big plays, especially early, but way less than Houston. At the end he was very good and all star worthy. I’m not sure if Nichols had any IT’s, but he gave up zero big plays and the guys he covers catch zero or one or two passes a game. Wish there more of him. At least that’s the way I see it.


Gadzooks Lyle, there HAS to be some kinda ‘rainy day’ fund Walters can tap to bring in the talent we need. What if we sell War Bonds… only call them ‘Bomber Bonds’… or maybe even ‘James Bonds’ (if we wanna appeal to a wider but covert audience)?

Now is the time for some really creative accounting.


Nice column Passin’ Paolo,
In the good olden days (70s, 80s, 90s) teams like the Eskschemeoes would routinely pay their players on the side over and above their official CFL salaries.
I think other teams have caught up with this ruse. The Bombers certainly found extra work for Milt Stegall once Milton became a football god, later they did same for Bubba "Doug’ Brown and recently have been involved spoon-feeding defensive captain Adam Bighill with a cushy off-season job.
Begs the question? Why don’t all teams including da Bombers do the same Macarena? Easy answer - despite the PR talk, if you’re a southern boy from Mississipi, California or even Kansas - who wants to spend a winter in Winnipeg? Remember, while lots of these players have fairly high football IQs, most of them wouldn’t know how to operate a McDonalds fry machine. They might be PR disasters integrating into a typical Manitoba work force.

Exceptions. Guys like Obby Khan learned the local ropes rapidly. Khan is a very bright kid. He retired a bit early and built a medium-sized business empire (restaurants & juice bars) before being exposed as more shyster than entrepreneur. Now, he’s involved in politics - a high level conservative MLA who squashed another former Bomber, Willard Reaves in the last provincial election. After Husky Heather (Stefanson) disgraced herself by losing to NDP Wab Kinew, Obby has his eyes on the provincial leadership of the conservative party. Failing that, he might be a ripe candidate to fly into Pierre Polyester’s surging federal Conservatives.
Khan has been recently closing some of his beloved businesses so I would expect him to make his political play very, very soon.

One final note - at a political fund-raiser over a year ago. Khan was forced to shake hands with then opposition leader Wab Kinew, himself a strapping 6’2", 200 lb. native man. While Obby Khan played at 6’4", 302 lb. he’s shed a lot of pro weight, maybe now coming in at 225/235.
Anyways, Kinew wouldn’t let go of the handshake, punishing Khan with extreme force - causing Khan to begin crying and begging Kinew to let go. Khan not only became a business & political fraud, he was a personal fraud.
To top it off - Khan spent weeks claiming Kinew had punched him in the stomach to get the upper hand. Khan’s story has changed several times - as security video from the event have shown.


That was a lot of conjecture there that I don’t necessarily agree with. I’d like to believe that most football players are:

  1. smarter than you’ve given them credit;
  2. more honourable than you let on; and
  3. not walking PR disasters waiting to happen

Here’s the man to replace Jeffcoat. Just kidding, but you never know.

Listened to Derek Taylor on CJOB this morning. He said he had heard no rumours about other teams being interested in Jeffcoat or Castillo or Bailey and like me, thinks that no news is good news. He identified 7 positions that the Bombers still need to fill one way or the other which if I recall correctly were on O Line, D Line, DB, Receiver, Kicker and Kick Returner. He singled out Bailey, Castillo and Janarion Grant as being the most important potential remaining re-signings, which I agree with.


Once other teams are finished shoring up their primary (stars & semi-stars) roster they’ll quickly turn to whats left on the scrap heap.

Bailey shouldn’t be considered a scrap-heaper but because he’s not an #1 or #2 WR he is. Also an import, also a veteran contract.

Jeffcat is edging into semi broke-down hobo stage with his various afflictions. Don’t think too many teams will give him a full year contract with signing bonus (to defray moving & housing costs).

If he doesn’t accept a base CFL contract he could keep himself in shape and tag in around the half-way mark in the season where his skill set could be needed most - and he’d only have to fulfill a handful of games for a nice, fat cheque


Here comes the Wagon!

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In so much of what you have proclaimed today, I have learned that fry cooks have no place in or near the CFL.

I agree with you that they should be kept away from these players whether or not yet signed.

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I had heard the rumour he mught be retiring once or twice so maybe not the biggest surprise. I guess his body has had enough. Selfishly I am glad he isn’t going to be playing against us and that his entire career will have been spent as a Bomber. Thanks Jackson for your time and effort and dedication to Winnipeg. You were amazing to watch!

P.S. If he files retirement papers with the league does anyone know if there is a rule that exists similar to other leagues that he can’t come back this year? Otherwise we would be happy to have you stay healthy and have an un retirment party after say Week 12.


Jeffcoat could still ‘un-retire’ before the regular season starts. It wouldn’t be the first time that one of our oft injured vets decided to skip the rigors of training camp. Jeffcoat’s not done until @Paolo_X says he’s done. As Paolo once said, “I have learned that fry cooks have no place in or near the CFL.”

Who can argue with that? :beaver:


I have a sinking feeling Matthew Betts is going to sign with either Calgary (65%) or Regina (30%). Contract will be 2 years - $200k + bonuses Yr. 1, $225k + bonuses Yr. 2. Also $35k signing bonus.


I feel like we got a free agency bargain here in the comments in just the last week.

We got perhaps three weeks’ worth of comments, plus it looks like some business and political advice and some keen insight about fry cooks, all within one week for more than half the comments in this thread.

If you have ever played poker, this is when you know that your run is about over, and it’s time to fold more hands.

Now I am going to hold off on the fries and the wings this week, but I will enjoy some stromboli during the Super Bowl and then I think go out for a few fried fish sandwiches later this week because they are on special.

/Starts engine
//Sips drink

Yep. That sounds about right.

///Speeds off


Word is that he may be in line for an NFL futures contract with the other Lions, so it’s looking more and more like he won’t be signing anywhere in the CFL this year.

What does NFL futures pay? (For 3yr CFL vets)

NFL scouts prolly see him as a classic tweener. Too small to take on NFL monster o-linemen and too slow to be a coverage linebacker. Might be a good backup/situational interior/middle linebacker in NFL, though!

Awh Lyle is just a Debbie Downer . never has anything good to say, always negative comments, don`t even know why he stays on this thread. Just my opinion.

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I’m with you that I don’t necessarily think Betts will be successful in the NFL but I can’t fault him for giving it a try. He could be back.

I’m no expert but my understanding of a futures contract is that it is of course less than a regular contract but more than simply an invite to attend training camp. It doesn’t guarantee a roster spot, but then neither does a regular contract.

I think the difference from no contract at all is that a futures contract guarantees the player money. Streveler had one with the Jets but I’m not sure what the money was. Rourke had one with Jacksonville and was guaranteed $225,000. They get more if they are elevated to a game day roster as both of them were several times. Mack now has a futures contract for $100,000. We’ll see what Betts receives if he gets one.


The thinking from a few NFL clubs looking for emergency depth (you never know when you need it) is Betts can shadow practice at a number of positions (DE, OLB, ILB) and while he’s a bit over-powering in the CFL there’s quite a step up in NFL o-line beef, one that Betts will not be able to make a dent. He will however, serve as good emergency roster depth and a solid practice guy for the #1s to go up against.


Not free agency but interesting for Bomber fans.