Blue Bombers roster - 2023-2024

Started by gobombersgo, January 15, 2024, 10:10:35 PM

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Kenny Lawler restructures contract with Winnipeg Blue Bombers
By John Hodge -January 16, 2024

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' receiver Kenny Lawler has restructured his contract for the 2024 season, per league sources.

The six-foot-two, 199-pound target received a $150,000 signing bonus to ink his new deal, which includes $115,000 in base salary, a $13,800 housing bonus, and a $7,200 travel bonus. In total, Lawler will earn $285,000 in hard money this year.

The 29-year-old was originally slated to earn $310,000 in 2024, though he's expected to net more on his new deal as signing bonuses are taxed at a lower rate for American players. He had a $125,000 off-season roster bonus due on Monday, Jan. 15, which led to his deal being renegotiated.

Lawler caught 50 passes for 901 yards and six touchdowns over 12 games this past season. He made six receptions for 83 yards in the West Final against the B.C. Lions and three catches for 77 yards during the Grey Cup against the Montreal Alouettes.

The native of Pomona, Calif. has caught 215 passes for 3,446 yards and 21 touchdowns since 2019. He is a two-time West Division all-star, one-time CFL all-star, and a two-time Grey Cup champion.


Darren Cameron:
#Bombers have agreed to terms on a one-year extension with pending free agent left tackle Stanley Bryant (@MyHumble_Self). The most decorated lineman in league history (four-time winner of the CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award (2017, 2018, 2021, 2022) and a seven-time CFL All-Star) will return in 2024 for his ninth season in Blue and Gold, and 14th season in the CFL. Bryant will hold a media availability via Zoom tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. CT.


The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on a one-year extension with future hall of fame left tackle, Stanley Bryant. Bryant was scheduled to become a free agent in February.

(6-5, 319, East Carolina University; born: May 7, 1986, in Goldsboro, N.C.) returns in 2024 for his 9th season with the Blue Bombers and 14th in the Canadian Football League, including his days with the Calgary Stampeders (2010-14).

The most-decorated offensive lineman in Canadian Football League history, Bryant is a four-time winner of the CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award (2017, 2018, 2021, 2022) and a seven-time CFL All-Star.

Now 37, Bryant was steady again in 2023 and was named a West Division All-Star in the process - his eighth nomination - and was a key figure in a Blue Bombers offence that finished first in the CFL in scoring while helping Brady Oliveira earn his first rushing title.

Bryant began his CFL career with the Stampeders in 2010 and was twice named that club's top offensive lineman. He signed with the Blue Bombers as a free agent in 2015 and has been honoured as the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman six times (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022).

Over the course of his CFL career, Bryant has suited up for 203 games - including 170 with the Blue Bombers - and has started in all of them.


All-time great Stanley Bryant takes slight pay cut to help Bombers sign more players
Ted Wyman

When it came right down to it, there were three things Stanley Bryant wanted.

To keep playing, to return to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and to do his part in allowing the team to fit as many potential free-agent pieces as possible back into its puzzle.

As such, the soon-to-be 38-year-old offensive lineman - one of the all-time great players to wear a Bombers' uniform - took a slight pay cut to return for the 2024 season, which will be his ninth in Winnipeg and 14th in the CFL.

"I know I have to sacrifice things at my end to have the team that we need, to be capable to get to a Grey Cup and win," Bryant said Wednesday from his home in North Carolina.

"I have no issue with that. It comes to that point in your career or anybody's career and you have to adjust to that and that?s fine with me. I want to have the best team we can put out there."



2024-01-17   WPG   FAYAD, Ali   DL   A   Western Michigan   ADD   Game Roster
2024-01-17   WPG   AFFUL JR., Peter   WR   A   Washburn University   ADD   Game Roster

Fayad played 4 games with the Argos in 2022.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign WR Peter Afful Jr. and DL Ali Fayad

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed wide receiver Peter Afful Jr. and defensive lineman Ali Fayad on Wednesday.

Peter Afful Jr. is five foot ten and weighs 190 pounds. The 24-year-old from Lawrence, Kansas, attended a rookie minicamp for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2023.

Collegiately, Afful Jr. played one season at Coffeyville Community College in 2018 with three catches for 41 yards in four games for the Red Ravens. Then, he transferred to Washburn University (2019-22) with 63 catches for 1,220 yards, 16 touchdowns, eight carries for 170 yards, and eight kick returns for 138 yards in 23 games for the Ichabods. He was named Second Team All-MIAA and an All-MIAA Honorable Mention.

Ali Fayad is six foot two and weighs 250 pounds. The 24-year-old from Dearborn, Michigan, made 13 tackles (4 solo, 9 assists), and one sack in six games for the Philadelphia Stars (USFL) in 2023.

Before Philadelphia, Fayad made five tackles and one sack in four games for the Toronto Argonauts in 2022 winning the 109th Grey Cup over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Fayad signed with the Argonauts as a free agent on September 2, 2022. He also signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2022.

Collegiately, Fayad played five seasons at Western Michigan (2017-21) with 164 tackles (98 solo, 66 assists), 56.5 tackles for loss, 33.5 sacks, three pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries in 55 games for the Broncos.

In his final season, Fayad made 40 tackles, 13 sacks, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 13 games. He was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MAC.


I like the sounds of those two. Especially happy to be adding pieces along the DL.
My wife is amazing!


JANUARY 18, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed two American receivers in Kody Case and Tyler Adams.

(5-10, 182; Illinois/South Dakota; born: September 11, 1998, in Lake City, IA) joins the Blue Bombers after most recently attending training camp with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent last summer.

Case spent 2017-21 at South Dakota, pulling in 82 passes for 1,157 yards and nine touchdowns in 32 games over four seasons, setting a school record with five receiving touchdowns in 2017, while also handling some punt and kickoff returns. He was a medical redshirt in 2018 and did not play during the four-game 2020 COVID season. He played in four games at Illinois after transferring, primarily on special teams as a kick returner.

Adams (6-0, 190; Butler/Harvard; born: August 3, 1998, in Louisville, OH) also attended training camp with the Colts last summer as an undrafted free agent before his release. Adams appeared in 11 games in his one season at Butler, finishing with 39 receptions for 689 yards and five touchdowns and was an All-Pioneer Football League Honorable Mention. Adams began his collegiate career at Harvard, where he appeared in 15 games from 2017-21 and totalled 21 receptions for 305 yards and three TDs, adding another along the ground.



Dru Brown's exit from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had long been expected as soon as the Canadian Football League's free agent market opened in less than a month.

The club expedited the process today, trading Brown to the Ottawa RedBlacks in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2024 CFL Draft.

Brown had moved from the third spot on the Blue Bombers depth chart in 2021 to No. 2 behind Zach Collaros in 2022, but with the veteran pivot signed through 2025 and still dominant – he led the CFL in touchdown passes last season – the route to regular starting work here in Winnipeg was essentially blocked.

That, and the restrictions of the salary cap, had the club's management expecting Brown's departure since the end of the 2023 season. Here's GM Kyle Walters from last week during the CFL's winter meetings in Nashville on the subject:

"I believe Dru and his agent want to go to an organization where it's less about who's going to pay him the most money. I think it's more about where he can go and have the best opportunity to compete with the incumbent quarterback or the other guys under contract to play.

"My gut tells me even if the Winnipeg Football Club could afford to match a contract they would think long and hard about the opportunity of where to go."

The deal allows Ottawa to begin contract negotiations with Brown immediately and in advance of free agency, which opens on February 13th, and his addition could potentially attract other pending free agents to the nation's capital, with Dalton Schoen's name often linked to his former Blue Bombers teammate.

Ottawa recently restructured the contract of veteran QB Jeremiah Masoli, who has appeared in just five games over the last two years with the RedBlacks and also has Dustin Crum, Tyrie Adams, Nick Arbuckle, Tyrrell Pigrome and Jake Dunniway currently listed among its stable of pivots. That said, Brown's best chance to start now in the CFL is in Ottawa where the 26-year-old former Oklahoma State/Hawaii starter will step out from under the shadow of Collaros and have a true shot at the No. 1 gig.

Brown posted sensational numbers for the Blue Bombers in 2023, completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns against zero interceptions and, in the process, set a CFL record for the most TD passes without a pick.

He led the Blue Bombers to a 2-0 record in his starts in 2023 – both wins over the Calgary Stampeders — and was 2-1 in career starts for Winnipeg, including his first start against the B.C. Lions in October of 2022. Brown also came off the bench in a win over the Edmonton Elks in August, rallying the club from a 22-0 hole by throwing for 307 yards and four touchdowns.

The Blue Bombers No. 3 pivot and short-yardage specialist from the last two years, Dakota Prukop, is also a pending free agent, leaving Collaros and rookies Terry Wilson and Eric Barriere as the QBs on the roster. Barriere's addition was announced after the Brown trade and he's an intriguing prospect who has had stints in the USFL with the Michigan Panthers and New Jersey Generals and participated in a mini-camp with the Denver Broncos in 2022. Barriere appeared in 51 games at Eastern Washington, throwing for 13,809 yards, 121 touchdowns against 29 interceptions while adding 22 rushing TDs and 1,585 yards along the ground. He won the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision in 2021 and was the runner-up to the same award in 2020.

Winnipeg now has 10 selections in the 2024 CFL Draft — each of its picks in every round, a bonus in the second round, 20th overall, as a reward for snaps by Canadian players in 2023 and now Ottawa's fifth-round choice, 40th overall, secured from the Brown trade. The Blue Bombers will pick 8th, 17th, 20th, 28th, 37th, 40th, 46th, 55th, 64th and 73rd overall.



The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed American quarterback Eric Barriere.

(6-1, 210; Eastern Washington; born: December 27, 1997, in Inglewood, CA) joins the Blue Bombers after an outstanding collegiate career at Eastern Washington and following stints in the USFL with the Michigan Panthers (2022) and in the New Jersey Generals (2023) and after attending mini-camp with the Denver Broncos in 2022.

A dual threat QB, Barriere appeared in 51 games at Eastern Washington, completing 62 percent of his passes for 13,809 yards, 121 touchdowns against 29 interceptions while adding 22 rushing TDs and 1,585 yards along the ground. In 2021 he was the recipient of the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision. He was the runner-up to the same award in 2020.



2024-01-18    WPG    MARTIN, Oliver    WR    A    Nebraska    ADD    Game Roster
2024-01-18    WPG    BROWN, Dru    QB    A    Oklahoma State    TRF TO OTT    Game Roster
2024-01-18    WPG    BARRIERE, Eric    QB    A    Eastern Washington    ADD    Game Roster

The Bombers haven't announced Martin's signing yet.  He was on the team's practice roster from Sept 12-Oct 05.


JANUARY 20, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on a two-year extension with National receiver Drew Wolitarsky. He was scheduled to become a free agent next month.

Wolitarsky (6-2, 224, Minnesota; born: March 22, 1995, in Santa Clarita, CA) returns in 2024 for his seventh season with the Blue Bombers after originally being selected by the club as a supplemental pick in the 2017 CFL Draft.

The 2023 season was Wolitarsky's best of his six years with the Blue Bombers as he set career highs in receptions (47), receiving yards (668) and touchdowns (six) while suiting up for all 18 regular season games as well as the Western Final and Grey Cup. In his more than 86 CFL games, he has 194 receptions for 2,551 yards and 17 career touchdowns.

Wolitarsky was born in California, but is listed as a Canadian under the CFL's rules as his mother hails from Montreal. Prior to the 2017 Supplemental Draft, he provided proof of Canadian citizenship to qualify as a national player.

Wolitarsky finished his college career at Minnesota with 130 catches – then tied for eighth all-time in Gophers history – while his 1,749 receiving yards ranked ninth.


Oliver Martin looked very good when he was here in September. Looks a lot like DS83.
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.



2024-01-22    WPG    WHEATFALL, Keric    WR    A    Fresno State    ADD    Game Roster
2024-01-22    WPG    WOLITARSKY, Drew    WR    N    Minnesota    ADD    Game Roster
2024-01-22    WPG    Borregales, Jose    K    A    Miami    ADD    Game Roster
2024-01-22    WPG    BURMEISTER, Braxton    WR    A    San Diego State    ADD    Game Roster

Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed three players including WR Keric Wheatfall

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed wide receivers Keric Wheatfall and Braxton Burmeister, and kicker Jose Borregales on Monday.

Keric Wheatfall is six foot two and weighs 194 pounds. The 24-year-old from Cypress, Texas, signed with the Philadelphia Stars (USFL) in 2023 but spent the season on injured reserve. Before Philadelphia, Wheatfall attended the Philadelphia Eagles training camp in 2022.

Collegiately, Wheatfall played two seasons at Blinn College (2017-18) with 72 catches for 1,173 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven kick returns for 112 yards in 20 games for the Buccaneers. Then, Wheatfall transferred to Fresno State (2019, 2021) with 55 catches for 923 yards, five touchdowns, two carries for two yards, and one kick return for 35 yards in 23 games for the Bulldogs.

Braxton Burmeister is six foot one and weighs 205 pounds. The 25-year-old from La Jolla, California, made two catches for 15 yards in three preseason games for the Los Angeles Rams in 2023. The Rams signed Burmeister as an undrafted free agent in 2023.

Collegiately, Burmeister was a quarterback in college. He played two seasons at Oregon (2017-18) completing 49 of 87 passes (56%) for 373 yards, two touchdowns, six interceptions, 71 carries for 131 yards, and three touchdowns in 11 games for the Ducks.

Next, Burmeister transferred to Virginia Tech (2020-21) completing 190 of 339 passes (56%) for 2,647 yards, 16 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 163 carries for 703 yards, four touchdowns, one catch for three yards, and one touchdown in 18 games for the Hokies.

Then, Burmeister transferred to San Diego State in 2022 completing 34 of 64 passes (53%) for 230 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 29 carries for 144 yards, one touchdown, and one catch for 19 yards in eight games for the Aztecs.

Jose Borregales is five foot ten and weighs 206 pounds. The 26-year-old from Caracas, Venezuela, converted six of nine field goals (67%) with a long of 52 yards in ten games for the Orlando Guardians (XFL) in 2023.

The Guardians drafted Borregales in the first round (5th pick) of Phase 5 of the 2023 XFL Draft. Before Orlando, Borregales signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2021.

Collegiately, Borregales played four seasons at Florida International University (2016-19) making 50 of 66 field goals (75.8%) with a long of 53 yards, making 131 of 134 extra points, 78 kickoffs for 4,695 yards (60.2 AVG), and 40 touchbacks in 39 games for the Panthers. He was a two-time All-Conference USA Honorable Mention.

Then, he transferred to Miami in 2020 made 20 of 22 field goals (91%) with a long of 57 yards, and made 37 of 37 extra points (100%) in 11 games for the Hurricanes. He was named First Team All-ACC in 2020.


JANUARY 23, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed seven American players – receivers Keric Wheatfall, Braxton Burmeister, Peter Afful and Oliver Martin,  kicker Jose Borregales and linebacker/defensive back Marcus Hillman. defensive end Ali Fayad.

Wheatfall (6-2, 194; Fresno State; born:  in Brenham, TX) has signed with the Blue Bombers after dressing for three games with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL in 2023 and following a stint with the Philadelphia Eagles in their 2022 training camp as an undrafted free agent. He began his college career at Blinn College before transferring to Fresno State. Over three seasons with the Bulldogs Wheatfall had 78 receptions for 1,286 yards and six touchdowns, posting 38 catches for 616 yards and four TDs in his senior season.

Burmeister (6-1, 205; San Diego State; born: in La Jolla, CA) joins the club after attending Los Angeles Rams training camp last summer. A converted quarterback, Burmeister began his collegiate career at Oregon, before transferring to Virginia Tech and then to San Diego State. Over that span he combined to throw for 3,020 yards with 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while rushing for 834 yards and seven scores. At San Diego he passed for two touchdowns and three touchdowns, rushing for 224 yards and one more TD while beginning the conversion to receiver and catching one pass for 19 yards.

Borregales (5-10, 185; University of Miami; born: December 15, 1997, in Caracas, Venezuela) comes to the Blue Bombers after signing with the Orlando Guardians of the XFL in November of 2022, but then seeing that team fold when the XFL merged with the USFL to form the United Football League. He first signed professionally as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in May of 2021 and spent that year on the practice roster before being let go in August of 2022.

Borregales began his collegiate career at Florida International University in 2016 and became the school's starting kicker after a redshirt season. He connected on 76.9 percent of his field goal attempts at FIU and was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best kicker in 2018. He transferred to Miami in 2020 and playing as a graduate student and was a unanimous All-American and captured the Groza Award after hitting on 20 of 22 field goal attempts.

Hillman (6-0, 200; Elon University; born: in Camden, NJ) joins the Blue Bombers after starring with the Elon Phoenix. He played in 47 games over five seasons at the school (2018-22), registering 101 tackles, 13 sacks, one interception, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and five pass knockdowns. As a senior he was a First Team All-CAA (Coastal Athletic Association) after leading the team with 83 combined tackles.

Fayad (6-2, 250; Western Michigan; born: May 12, 1999, in Dearborn, Michigan) signs with the Blue Bombers after appearing in four games with the Toronto Argonauts in 2022 and then signing with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL last spring before the league folded to merge with the XFL.

Fayad starred at Western Michigan and in 2021, his final season, was named the MAC (Mid-America Conference) Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Mac after finishing with a team high 13 sacks, 40 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss and two pass breakups. Fayad played in 55 games over five years at Western Michigan, registering 98 solo tackles, 33.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

He first turned pro as an undrafted free agent signing by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 and then signed with Toronto in September of that year, dressing for the four games, and finishing with four tackles, one special teams tackle and a sack.

Afful (5-10, 190; Washburn University; born: November 5, 1997, in Lawrence, KS) attended mini-camp with the Kansas City Chiefs last spring and attended the UFL Showcase in St. Louis last summer. He played one season at Coffeyville Community College before joining Washburn where he had 63 catches for 1,220 yards and 16 touchdowns, adding 170 yards on eight carries and 138 yards in 23 games with the Ichabods. He was a two-time All-MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) and finished his career ranked third in program history with an average yards per catch of 19.4.

Martin (6-1, 200; University of Nebraska; born:  in Coralville, Iowa) was part of the Blue Bombers practice roster expansion last September and rejoins the club for 2024. He spent preseason last year with the Jacksonville Jaguars after collegiate stops at Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska. He had 25 catches for 405 yards in three years with the Cornhuskers and got the attention of NFL scouts at Nebraska's Pro Day in 2023 when he posted a 41-inch vertical and 134-inch broad jump in testing.



2024-01-23   WPG   Hillman, Marcus   DB   A   Elon University   ADD   Game Roster
2024-01-23   WPG   TEXADA, Raleigh   DB   A   Baylor   ADD   Game Roster