Blue Bombers roster - 2023-2024

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

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FEBRUARY 1, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on new contracts for Canadian defensive backs Nick and Noah Hallett.

The two brothers were scheduled to become free agents on February 13th. Nick has signed a two-year deal while Noah is on board for one more season.

Nick Hallett (5-11, 202; University of Toronto; born: February 12, 1994, in London, ON) returns to the Blue Bombers for a fifth season after being selected by the club in the seventh round, 61st overall, of the 2019 CFL Draft.

Hallett has not missed any action in his four seasons with the club and has dressed for 68 regular season games and nine playoff contests, including the last four Grey Cups, while becoming a rotational player at safety on defence and regularly contributing on special teams. He led the Blue Bombers with 20 special teams tackles in 2023, which ranked third in the CFL.

Noah Hallett (6-0, 191; McMaster University; born September 20, 1997, in London, ON) returns to the Blue Bombers for a fourth year after missing all last season as he recuperated from a knee injury.

The Blue Bombers' first pick in the 2020th CFL Draft, 18th overall, Hallett dressed for nine games in 2021 (his rookie season) and was limited to just two games in 2022 after twice suffering injuries during the year.



2024-02-01   WPG   KOLANKOWSKI, Chris   OL   N   York   ADD   Game Roster
2024-02-01   WPG   STREVELER, Chris   QB   A   South Dakota   ADD   Game Roster
2024-02-01   WPG   VANTERPOOL, Micah   OL   A   Hawaii   ADD   Game Roster


FEBRUARY 2, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with defensive tackle Jake Thomas.

Thomas was scheduled to become a free agent on February 13th.

(6-2, 274; Acadia University; born: December 6, 1990, in Douglas, NB) returns to the Blue Bombers for a 12th Canadian Football League season – all in Winnipeg.

Selected by the Blue Bombers in the fourth round, 29th overall, of the 2012 CFL Draft, Thomas is the longest-serving player on the club, having suited up for 186 regular season games and the last four Grey Cups.

His 2023 season was a testament to his consistency and durability as he again suited up for every game for the sixth consecutive year and matched his career high with five quarterback sacks while adding 17 defensive tackles. Thomas now has 25 career sacks and 123 career tackles.

Thomas is a two-time Grey Cup winner as part of the Blue Bombers championship teams in 2019 and 2021.

John Hodge

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have re-signed Canadian DL Jake Thomas.
The club paid around $135,000 to re-sign Cameron Lawson earlier this off-season, so this move feels a bit surprising.
Thomas tied a career-high with five sacks last year.



2024-02-02   WPG   RANDALL, Kenneth   DL   A   Charleston   ADD   Game Roster
2024-02-02   WPG   CRUICKSHANK, Aron   WR   A   Rutgers   ADD   Game Roster


Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign WR Aron Cruickshank and DL Kenneth Randall

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed wide receiver Aron Cruickshank
and defensive lineman Kenneth Randall on Friday.

Aron Cruickshank is five foot ten and weighs 170 pounds. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, was targeted three times in one preseason game for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers signed Cruickshank as an undrafted free agent in 2023.

Collegiately, Cruickshank played one season at Wisconsin in 2019 making one catch for 11 yards, six carries for 51 yards, and one touchdown in 13 games for the Badgers.

Then, he transferred to Rutgers (2020-22) making 99 catches for 868 yards, five touchdowns, 21 carries for 171 yards, one touchdown, 58 kick returns for 1,357 yards, two touchdowns, 19 punt returns for 196 yards, and one touchdown in 28 games for the Scarlet Knights. He was named First Team All-Big Ten in 2020.

Kenneth Randall is six foot four and weighs 300 pounds. The 28-year-old from Atlantic City, New Jersey, made 25 tackles (16 solo, 9 assists), two tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and two pass breakups in ten games for the New Jersey Generals in 2023. The Generals signed Randall as a free agent on October 6, 2022.

Before New Jersey, Randall signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2021 and later signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2022 being placed on the practice squad.

Collegiately, Randall played five seasons at the University of Charleston (2015-19) with 116 tackles (51 solo, 65 assists), 32.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two blocks on special teams in 30 games for the Golden Eagles.

In 2019, Randall was named First Team All-MEC Honors after recording 64 tackles (29 solo, 35 assists), 16.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three quarterback hits, and two blocked kicks on special teams in 11 games.

In 2018 was named Second Team All-MEC Honors after recording 46 tackles (20 solo, 26 assists), 2.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks in eight games.


Blue Bombers add to roster - February 2, 2024

WINNIPEG, MB., February 2, 2024 - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed five American players – defensive backs Marquise Bridges and Travon Fuller, linebacker Michael Ayers, receiver Keytaon Thompson and offensive lineman Micah Vanterpool.

Bridges (5-11, 190; North Dakota State; born: January 1, 1997, in Minneapolis, MN) joins the Blue Bombers after spending the last two seasons in the Indoor Football League, winning championships with the Bay Area Panthers (2023) and Northern Arizona Wranglers (2022). He also won four national championships during his college days with FCS powerhouse NDSU. A two-time MVFC all-star at NDSU, Bridges was part of Bison teams that went 70-5 during his collegiate career. He had NFL looks from the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers before turning to the IFL.

Fuller (6-1, 180; Tulsa; born: June 16, 1998, in Athens, TX) comes to Winnipeg after playing in five games last year with the D.C. Defenders of the XFL, where he registered seven tackles. Fuller began his college days at Texas A&M before spending the 2021 season at Tulsa as a graduate transfer. In his final college season, he finished with 42 tackles, three interceptions and nine pass breakups for the Golden Hurricane and then signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2022.

Ayers (6-2, 220: Ashland University; born: December 31, 1998, in Columbus, OH) signed last spring with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. A star at Division II Ashland, he was the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 and was named to the AFCA All-America first team after finishing the season with 48 solo tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception, eight pass breakups, 11 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

Thompson (6-4, 217; Virginia/Mississippi State; born: October 23, 1998, in New Orleans, LA) first turned pro as an undrafted signing of the Detroit Lions in May of last year and then signed with the Orlando Guardians of the XFL on October 30th. The Guardians folded when the XFL and USFL merged to create the UFL. In Thompson's last year collegiately with the Cavaliers he started 10 games and led the team with 78 receptions for 990 yards and two touchdowns. Named the top high school player in Louisiana in 2016, he played quarterback at Mississippi State from 2017-19 before transferring to Virginia.

Vanterpool (6-6, 315; Hawaii; born: January 19, 1999, in Phoenix, AZ) was signed last August by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent and then released before the season. He first turned pro as a member of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 2023. Vanterpool played five years at Hawaii, taking snaps at both tackle and guard spots. In his fifth season, he started 13 games at right guard and was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team after not allowing a sack or registering a penalty.


Random thoughts here:
Looking at the roster, there is a chance we can keep Brady and Schoen.

At QB Prukop and Brown were probably making a combined what 175-200k last year.
Streveler with potential bonuses and a rookie will probably come in at the same price range.

RB: Augustine probably signed for the same amount as last year. If we cut McCrae loose then that frees up aprox. 65 K towards Brady.

WR: If we gamble that theres 1-3 rookies that can make the roster and let Bailey and Grant go we free up probably another roughly 65k.

OL: IF Hardrick and Gray were say let go. We still have Dobson, Eli and Richmond that fill that void. Draft 1-2 OL and probably saving 120k+

DL: Gamble on starting 2 Canadian DT's Thomas and Lawson? Let Jeffcoat and Walker walk, frees up probably 180k.

LB: Briggs and/or Gauthier are the types of depth guys that dont get raises and are probably ok with that. Not really sure what either make but would assume in the 80k range. could cut 1 loose and draft which would make a savings of aprox 10k. Big question here, would you cut Wilson whose signed for 2024 in favour of giving Clements a shot? O'Shea says Wilson is the best LB in the league at covering RB's out of the backfield.

DB: We can assume Rose and Darby are goners. So couldnt we give Houston the same money Rose was making? Alexander a slight 10-20 k bump and still have aprox 140k in savings.

ST: Castillo I would imagine we can keep him for the same pay.

by rough math there is aprox 580k in savings from cutting loose 5-7 guys and choosing to go draft/sign CFL rookies. Brady 250 k (roughly double his last salary), Schoen 250k(roughly 180k/yr raise) is only going to eat up aprox 300 k of that 580 savings.
The CFL salary cap also goes up another 75k this year so by rough math adding that to the 580k savings in perspective makes 650 k savings and without knowing any solid numbers would still leave aprox 350 k left over.
CFL's salary cap goes up another 100k/yr for the next 3 seasons. So you could sign Brady to a 250k 1st year + obvious performance bonuses , 300k 2nd year+ performance bonuses (Lawler would be a FA in 2025). Same with Schoen. What if 225 1st year and like 250-275 2nd year does it.

Sure would be nice to see players salaries like other professional leagues that make millions. Don't know why its such a big deal here in the CFL that we can't see salaries equivalent to middle class/upper middle class citizens



I think Jeffcoat and walker are closer to $245K. So, you mite have a little more money to spend.
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.



2024-02-05   WPG   SMITH, Chris   RB   A   Louisiana At Lafayette   ADD   Game Roster
2024-02-05   WPG   LEWIS, Jordan   LB   A   Southern   ADD   Game Roster


Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign running back Chris Smith

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed running back Chris Smith on Sunday night per his agent Bardia Ghahremani.

Chris Smith is five foot nine and weighs 194 pounds. The 24-year-old from Meridian, Mississippi, signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2023. Then, Smith was drafted by the San Antonio Brahmas (XFL) in the 2023 Rookie Draft.

Collegiately, Smith played five seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette (2018-22) with 373 carries for 2,167 yards, 16 touchdowns, completed one pass for 37 yards, one touchdown, made 52 catches for 410 yards, three touchdowns, 66 kick returns for 1,556 yards, two touchdowns, two punt returns for 11 yards, four tackles (2 solo, 2 assists), and one pass breakup in 53 games for the Rajin' Cajuns. He was named FWAA Second Team All-American in 2020, and First Team All-Sun Belt in 2021.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign linebacker Jordan Lewis

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed linebacker Jordan Lewis on Monday.

Jordan Lewis is six foot two and weighs 220 pounds. The 24-year-old from Ocala, Florida, had 15 tackles (10 solo, 5 assists), 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in ten games for the Jaguars. He signed with the New Jersey Generals (USFL) on August 4, 2023, but the Generals were not included in the USFL and XFL merger that formed the United Football League.

Lewis played four seasons at Southern University (2019-22) with 98 tackles (64 solo, 34 assists), 42 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks, one interception for 95 yards, three touchdowns, two pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in 37 games for the Jaguars.

In the 2021 season, Lewis had a big season with 29 tackles (16 solo, 13 assists), 10 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks in nine games.

He won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top FCS player, along with the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, College Football Hall of Fame Mel Blount Defensive Player of the Year, AFCA First Team All-American, Boxtorow Defensive Player of the Year, and Athlon Sports Spring FCS All American. In addition, he was named Second Team All-SWAC in 2019.


FEBRUARY 6, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with all-star running back Brady Oliveira. He was scheduled to be a free agent on February 13th.

Oliveira (5-10, 222; North Dakota; born: August 15, 1997, in Winnipeg, MB) returns to the Blue Bombers for a fifth season after being originally selected by the club in the second round, 14th overall, in the 2019 CFL Draft.

In 2023, Oliveira was named the Canadian Football League's Most Outstanding Canadian Player and a runner up for the Most Outstanding Player Award while also being selected as a CFL and West Division All-Star.

He led the league in rushing with 1,534 yards – the second highest total by a Canadian in league history after Jon Cornish amassed 1,813 yards for the Calgary Stampeders in 2013 – as well as topping the league in yards from scrimmage (2,016) and touchdowns (13). Oliveira had a league-best seven 100-yard rushing games while setting career highs in rushing, receptions (38) and receiving yards (482).

Oliveira's numbers last year jumped from his 2022 season when he became the team's feature back and rushed for 1,001 yards – the first 1,000-yard season of his career. In 51 regular season games with the Blue Bombers, he has 2,970 yards rushing, 70 receptions for 808 yards and 20 total touchdowns.

Active in the community, Oliveira is passionate about his dog rescue work in Manitoba and around the world. He was the 2022 recipient of the Cal Murphy 'Heart of a Legend' Award, which 'recognizes sportsmanship and dedication to the CFL and the community.'

Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-sign CFL all-star RB Brady Oliveira

By Justin Dunk -February 6, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have re-signed the CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Canadian Brady Oliveira, per sources.

It's a two-year contract and he'll earn $230,000 in 2024 and $240,000 in 2025, resetting the market for a national RB. Oliveira made around $120,000 in 2023 after reaching incentives for rushing yards, all-star selections and awards.


FEBRUARY 6, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms on a new contract with all-star receiver Dalton Schoen.

Schoen was scheduled to become a free agent on February 13th.

Schoen (6-1, 210; Kansas State; born: October 13, 1996, in Overland Park, KS) returns to the Blue Bombers for a third season in 2024. In 34 games over 2022-23, Schoen racked up 141 receptions for 2,663 yards and 26 touchdowns while being named a West Division and CFL All-Star in each season.

Last year, Schoen had 71 receptions for 1,222 yards and 10 touchdowns, finishing third in the league in yardage, first in receiving touchdowns and third in second-down conversion catches with 30.

His rookie year of 2022 was one of the most prolific in CFL history as he led the league with 1,441 receiving yards on 70 receptions while tying for the league lead in touchdowns with 16. Those numbers helped him earn him the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie honours.

Schoen's 1,441 yards in 2022 was the seventh-highest total in club history (Milt Stegall holds the club record of 1,896, set in 2002) and set a team record for touchdowns by a first-year Blue Bomber.

Schoen came to the Blue Bombers after first signing in the NFL as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 and following looks from Kansas City and Washington.

Schoen was a walk-on at Kansas State, climbing up the depth chart to eventually start as a sophomore and become a key target over his final three years. He finished his college career ranked seventh in school history in yards per reception (17.05) and 15th in career receiving yards (1,569). He finished with 92 receptions for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns over 34 games from 2017-2019.

He was a 2019 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 and a member of the First Team Academic All-Big 12 from 2017-19.

Sources: all-star receiver Dalton Schoen re-signs with Winnipeg Blue Bombers
By John Hodge -February 6, 2024

Dalton Schoen has agreed to terms on a contract extension with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, per sources. He was 3DownNation's top-ranked pending free agent receiver. It's a one-year deal worth $230,000.



2024-02-06    WPG    RICHMOND, Drew    OL    A    USC    TRF TO RETIRED    Retired
2024-02-06    WPG    IVY, Christopher    OL    A    Tulsa    ADD    Game Roster

Christopher Ivy is six foot three and weighs 296 pounds. The 26-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, was on the Blue Bombers practice squad in 2023. Before Winnipeg, Ivy played three games for the Tulsa Oilers of the Indoor Football League in 2023.

Collegiately, Ivy played three seasons at Tulsa (2016-18). He played 36 games for the Golden Hurricanes. His first two seasons were on special teams before playing the 2018 season at left tackle in his senior season.

Before Tulsa, Ivy was a two-year letter winner and starter at Wichita Heights High School. Ivy started two years at left tackle, helping Wichita advance to the state quarterfinals twice, all while earning a spot on the Kansas Football Coaches Association (KFCA) All-State team.

In addition, he earned an honorable mention for All-City merits during his junior season and was First-Team All-Conference and Second-Team All-City as a senior.


Drew Richmond retires at 28, leaves hole in Winnipeg's offensive line
By John Hodge -February 6, 2024

Drew Richmond has retired from the CFL, opening a hole in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' offensive line.

The six-foot-five, 314-pound blocker was slated to earn near the league's minimum salary in 2024 and, per sources, was unwilling to return to Winnipeg without a new contract. The club was open to renegotiating but, when a deal couldn't be reached, Richmond decided to move on from professional football.

The 28-year-old joined the team in 2021 following a stint in The Spring League, a predecessor to the USFL. He made one start at left tackle that same year and a second start in 2023 after missing the entire 2022 season due to a knee injury.

Richmond was clearly the front-runner to replace Jermarcus Hardrick, who is leaving the team to sign a big-money deal with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Though he played predominantly on the left side in Winnipeg, he started at right tackle for parts of his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee and the University of Southern California.

Seven-time CFL all-star Stanley Bryant is back to protect Zach Collaros' blindside, though the right tackle spot is now a mystery as recently-signed Micah Vanterpool is the only other American offensive lineman currently on the roster.

The Blue Bombers will open the 2024 regular season by hosting the Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes at Princess Auto Stadium on Thursday, June 6.


Blue Bombers add to roster - February 7, 2024

WINNIPEG, MB., February 7, 2024 - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has signed four American players – receiver/returner Aron Cruickshank, running back Chris Smith, defensive end Jordan Lewis and defensive back Raleigh Texada.

Cruickshank (5-10, 170; Rutgers; born: September 7, 2000, in Brooklyn, NY) joins the Blue Bombers after NFL looks last year from Chicago and Pittsburgh, signing first as an undrafted free agent with the Bears before a stint with the Steelers. He began his collegiate career at Wisconsin and saw action primarily as a return specialist, taking back two kickoffs for touchdowns in 2019. Cruickshank then transferred to Rutgers and was named the Big Ten's return specialist of the year in 2020 and during his three-year career with the Scarlet Knights averaged 23.4 yards per return. In 28 games over three years at Rutgers Cruickshank had 99 receptions for 868 yards and five touchdowns, adding five more scores as a returner and one rushing. In 2022, his senior season, he led the team with 913 all-purpose yards (385 receiving, 370 kickoff return, 115 rushing and 43 on punt returns).

Smith (5-9, 194; Louisiana-Lafayette; born: September 8, 1999, in Meridian, KS) spent part of last year with the Seattle Seahawks after signing as an undrafted free agent and then was selected by the San Antonio Brahmas in the 2023 XFL Rookie Draft last June. Smith rushed for 2,167 yards and 16 touchdowns over 53 games with the Ragin' Cajuns from 2018-22, adding 52 receptions for 410 yards and three more scores along the ground and 1,556 yards and two TDs in kickoffs. He was named FWAA Second Team All-American in 2020, and First Team All-Sun Belt in 2021.

Lewis (6-3, 223; Southern; born: April 20, 1999, in Ocala, FL) comes to the Blue Bombers after originally signing with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL for 2024, but that franchise folded following the merger of the USFL and XFL to form the new United Football League. Lewis was a highly decorated player at Southern, helping the school capture three SWAC West titles while being named to two All-SWAC teams. In the 2021 spring season he won the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS after registering 27 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble in just five games. He was also named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year and College Football Hall of Fame's Mel Blount Player of the Year.

(5-10, 188; Baylor; born: June 30, 1998, in Frisco, TX) returns to the Blue Bombers after first joining the team last fall as part of the practice roster expansion. Texada was a regular with the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL in 2023, finishing that season with 24 tackles and five pass break ups. He also had NFL looks from the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins.

During his five years at Baylor, Texada recorded 142 tackles and four interceptions while being named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honour Roll four times.