Woli re-signs in Winnipeg

Started by VictorRomano, January 20, 2024, 02:34:35 PM

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Pigskin

Nice to have Woli back for another 2 years.
Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.

Jesse

I love the 2 year deals. It's going to make the next off season that much easier for Walters to maximize the home Grey Cup roster.
My wife is amazing!

ModAdmin

Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-sign receiver Drew Wolitarsky to two-year deal

WINNIPEG, MB., 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.
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden

Lincoln Locomotive

Bomber fan for life

PloenFan


Pete

#6
He's underrated around the league, with most teams he'd have more stats, but behind Demski Schoen and Lawler last year simply not enough balls to go around

blue_gold_84

Another great re-signing!
#forthew
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Don't be a Rich.

GOLDMEMBER

Key offensive component especially if we lose Schoen.
I LOSHT MY MEMBER IN AN UNFORTUNATE SHMELTING ACCSHIDENT!

TecnoGenius

Some thought we'd have to lose Woli to make the SMS$ work, but KW pulled it off.  I think everyone can agree Woli is the best NAT WR we've had in long time.

I didn't realize his '23 season was so productive.  Those numbers are better than most teams' 3rd read IMPs.

I'm still bummed that they tipped away that near-TD to Woli in the GC (2Q5:03)... (both botched TD passes were underthrown by Zach rolling out right.)
Never go full Rider!

theaardvark

Our 2nd down specialist is signed for 2 years.

Big, reliable and tough, he fits the WFC system in all ways.

Great and important signing.

We will have a lot of draft picks to back him up.
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

Jesse

Quote from: TecnoGenius on January 21, 2024, 12:11:53 AMSome thought we'd have to lose Woli to make the SMS$ work, but KW pulled it off.  I think everyone can agree Woli is the best NAT WR we've had in long time.


Demski?
My wife is amazing!

Blueforlife

Sometimes you need a fresh start

TecnoGenius

Quote from: Jesse on January 21, 2024, 04:35:56 AMDemski?

Oops!  I meant NAT "ratio-placeholder" style (i.e. lower-pay) WR.  You know, like JFG, Petermann, etc.

Ya, Demski I don't even really consider a NAT WR anymore, he's just a WR as good as any star IMP, who happens to be a NAT.  (And is paid as such.)  That's why I forgot him, doh.

But thanks for correcting me... definitely want to get that one right!  ;D
Never go full Rider!

TecnoGenius

I watched the 2 botched TDs in the GC when thinking of the Woli miss, and suddenly realized Ento basically cost us the GC win by himself.  His outstanding and near-impossible plays saved 2 near sure-thing TDs, and cost us 14 points.

Is Ento getting NFL looks?  He's better than Holm and maybe as good as D.Alford who's still down south.  If Ento ever shakes loose, we need to pick him up; if we can afford him.  What a game wrecker.
Never go full Rider!

Lincoln Locomotive

Woli is the consummate team guy and his blocking abilities combined with his ability to make key first down conversions sis critical to our overall offence.   
Bomber fan for life

TecnoGenius

Besides Demski, who is at an impossible level all by himself, Woli is at "top CFL NAT WR"-level with Gittens, KSB, and maybe MTL's Philpot.  Very few NAT WRs ever become more than ratio placeholders, let alone as good as 3rd read IMPs.  I love to see these Canadian succeeding.
Never go full Rider!

Jesse

Quote from: TecnoGenius on January 22, 2024, 02:32:25 AMBesides Demski, who is at an impossible level all by himself, Woli is at "top CFL NAT WR"-level with Gittens, KSB, and maybe MTL's Philpot.  Very few NAT WRs ever become more than ratio placeholders, let alone as good as 3rd read IMPs.  I love to see these Canadian succeeding.

Being fully aware of course, that Woli wasn't remotely Canadian, he was just counted as a NAT by the very loosest of definitions that the CFL uses.

(Although he's 100% a Canadian now - he just wasn't before coming up here for the first time).
My wife is amazing!

Blue In BC

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 11:49:37 AMBeing fully aware of course, that Woli wasn't remotely Canadian, he was just counted as a NAT by the very loosest of definitions that the CFL uses.

(Although he's 100% a Canadian now - he just wasn't before coming up here for the first time).

A person born to a Canadian parent has Canadian citizenship regardless of where the birth happens. That has nothing to do with the definition the CFL uses.
2019 Grey Cup Champions

Sir Blue and Gold

Quote from: TecnoGenius on January 22, 2024, 02:32:25 AMBesides Demski, who is at an impossible level all by himself, Woli is at "top CFL NAT WR"-level with Gittens, KSB, and maybe MTL's Philpot.  Very few NAT WRs ever become more than ratio placeholders, let alone as good as 3rd read IMPs.  I love to see these Canadian succeeding.

I don't think Wolitarksy is in the same bucket as Philpot or Gittens. Not from a pure skill standpoint anyway. He's turned into a very experienced, reliable possession receiver which is traditionally the role a lot of National receivers carve out. 

Jesse

Quote from: Blue In BC on January 22, 2024, 01:25:57 PMA person born to a Canadian parent has Canadian citizenship regardless of where the birth happens. That has nothing to do with the definition the CFL uses.

I feel like it does, because citizenship doesn't grant you NAT status. I may be wrong, but I feel like it used to be based on where you received your football training. And they've changed and expanded the definition multiple times.

And you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if you have a Canadian parent, but I don't think you're automatically a Canadian citizen.
My wife is amazing!

Blue In BC

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 05:08:04 PMI feel like it does, because citizenship doesn't grant you NAT status. I may be wrong, but I feel like it used to be based on where you received your football training. And they've changed and expanded the definition multiple times.

And you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if you have a Canadian parent, but I don't think you're automatically a Canadian citizen.

Nathan Rourke born in Ontario. Last year of high school in USA and his college as well. So should that make him an import by your definition?

I realize Woli was born in the USA but his mother was Canadian. IMO that makes him a Canadian whether he automatically gains citizenship or not.

How all of this determines a player to be a National is a small argument I think.
2019 Grey Cup Champions

Jesse

Quote from: Blue In BC on January 22, 2024, 05:22:38 PMNathan Rourke born in Ontario. Last year of high school in USA and his college as well. So should that make him an import by your definition?

I realize Woli was born in the USA but his mother was Canadian. IMO that makes him a Canadian whether he automatically gains citizenship or not.

How all of this determines a player to be a National is a small argument I think.

Putting aside CFL national definitions, I don't consider Americans who have one parent from another country to be members of that country, no.
My wife is amazing!

Throw Long Bannatyne

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 05:08:04 PMI feel like it does, because citizenship doesn't grant you NAT status. I may be wrong, but I feel like it used to be based on where you received your football training. And they've changed and expanded the definition multiple times.

And you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if you have a Canadian parent, but I don't think you're automatically a Canadian citizen.

Correct, still involves an application, verification and waiting for approval.  If that wasn't the case Jones would twist those rules into a pretzel.

theaardvark

Quote from: Throw Long Bannatyne on January 22, 2024, 05:44:14 PMCorrect, still involves an application, verification and waiting for approval.  If that wasn't the case Jones would twist those rules into a pretzel.

And also never having signed as an American in the CFL... who was the player that Ottawa told he should look into claiming Nat status?  And then signed elsewhere?
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

ModAdmin

"It's a special place. We've had some tough losses, dude, but we're so resilient."

"......My girl is from Southern Cal and she calls Winnipeg our home," he began. "It's where we have our routine, our home, our space. It's a place that has really rooted us and made us closer as a family. It's a special place in our hearts. It will be hard to leave when the time comes and that's why every time I sign a contract there's this sense of both relief and joy. We love to travel and being vagabonds, but that can get so tiring. In Winnipeg we have our community and there's so much structure. I get why people don't want to leave because it comes from knowing when you go out to your coffee shop, they're going to know your name.

"We went into a coffee shop here in Melbourne yesterday and I thought I'm never going to see this owner again. You're in and out. There can be charms to big cities, but there can also be an emptiness. I'm an empathic person. I like to connect, and community is important to me.

"Winnipeg is such a great city for that – it's big enough to feel big, but small enough to have you connected. In this day and age of disconnectedness I understand now the allure of that from being in Winnipeg......"

https://www.bluebombers.com/2024/01/20/its-a-special-place-weve-had-some-tough-losses-dude-but-were-so-resilient/
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden

blue_gold_84

Heart and soul player. Very pleased to have him back for two more seasons.
#forthew
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Don't be a Rich.

theaardvark

Wow, another ringing endorsement of the Winnipeg lifestyle. 

Been here 23 years now, and wholly endorse this viewpoint...

"Winnipeg is such a great city for that – it's big enough to feel big, but small enough to have you connected. In this day and age of disconnectedness I understand now the allure of that from being in Winnipeg......"

I wonder how many of the Jets are now feeling this way... they don't really get the same experience, being on the road so much, so many games so close together... 82 in a season rather than 18... but I know the ratio of guys that have Winnipeg atop their no trade clauses to those that do not has shifted a lot.  Sure, being the best team in the league has a lot to do with that, like the Bombers, but I'd like to think this viewpoint of the city is becoming wider spread...
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

Jesse

Quote from: theaardvark on January 22, 2024, 06:54:21 PMWow, another ringing endorsement of the Winnipeg lifestyle. 

Been here 23 years now, and wholly endorse this viewpoint...

"Winnipeg is such a great city for that – it's big enough to feel big, but small enough to have you connected. In this day and age of disconnectedness I understand now the allure of that from being in Winnipeg......"

I wonder how many of the Jets are now feeling this way... they don't really get the same experience, being on the road so much, so many games so close together... 82 in a season rather than 18... but I know the ratio of guys that have Winnipeg atop their no trade clauses to those that do not has shifted a lot.  Sure, being the best team in the league has a lot to do with that, like the Bombers, but I'd like to think this viewpoint of the city is becoming wider spread...

The number of teams with us on their no-trade list has not changed buddy.
My wife is amazing!

theaardvark

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 07:24:05 PMThe number of teams with us on their no-trade list has not changed buddy.

I'd bet your right on that... what team would want to be traded to a different city at all?

No player would refuse a trade to Winnipeg right now, if the player has any desire to win a cup.  If the player is fine being on a losing team, sure.  But if they are hungry for a cup, Winnipeg is at the top of the "trade me to" lists. 
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

Jesse

Quote from: theaardvark on January 22, 2024, 08:23:13 PMI'd bet your right on that... what team would want to be traded to a different city at all?

No player would refuse a trade to Winnipeg right now, if the player has any desire to win a cup.  If the player is fine being on a losing team, sure.  But if they are hungry for a cup, Winnipeg is at the top of the "trade me to" lists. 

We are not on anyone's "no trade" list because we're a bad hockey team. The success of the club, good or bad, has very little to do with it.
My wife is amazing!

theaardvark

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 08:26:48 PMWe are not on anyone's "no trade" list because we're a bad hockey team. The success of the club, good or bad, has very little to do with it.

We've been a non factor for a cup since coming here, and we have the tax/location baggage that comes with being a Canadian city outside the top 3. 

Now that a player could come here and have a reasonable chance at the cup, Chevy will have more to shop from at the deadline, for sure.  If we need a piece or two.
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

blue_gold_84

Quote from: theaardvark on January 22, 2024, 08:33:17 PMWe've been a non factor for a cup since coming here, and we have the tax/location baggage that comes with being a Canadian city outside the top 3. 

Now that a player could come here and have a reasonable chance at the cup, Chevy will have more to shop from at the deadline, for sure.  If we need a piece or two.

2018 would like a word. You could make a similar, albeit feebler argument, for 2019.

Players needs to be willing to waive existing movement clauses. Being a top team right now certainly helps but there's no need to get ahead of oneself. Winnipeg is still one of the least desired locations for NHL players for a number of reasons.

I'm also not sure what any of that has to do with the Bombers or the CFL; it's a "ringing endorsement" from someone who's only ever played in the CFL. They're completely unrelated to the NHL outside of the location.
#forthew
лава Україні!
Don't be a Rich.

TecnoGenius

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 11:49:37 AMBeing fully aware of course, that Woli wasn't remotely Canadian, he was just counted as a NAT by the very loosest of definitions that the CFL uses.

(Although he's 100% a Canadian now - he just wasn't before coming up here for the first time).

Quote from: Jesse on January 22, 2024, 05:08:04 PMI feel like it does, because citizenship doesn't grant you NAT status. I may be wrong, but I feel like it used to be based on where you received your football training. And they've changed and expanded the definition multiple times.

Ya, Woli was kind of a FAKENAT before such a thing existed vis a vis vet IMPs.  But so are a number of current CFL NATs.  I guess it's kind of like a "blood" thing, and if they have a Canadian parent then they are, by blood, i.e. family relations, part Canadian.  As long as they apply the definition and rules the same to everyone, I don't mind the situation.  The old-style FAKENATs (people who basically never set foot in Canada before) are exceptionally rare, with maybe 1 showing up every 1-3 years.

But if we want to step back and look at the reason for the ratio I think we can probably come up with a better rule.  From all I've learned over the last decade, the ratio exists mainly to promote the Canadian U (and to a lesser extent, high school) systems.  We want talented prospects to go through our systems and come out CFL-ready.  If that all went away and there was no CFL then 99% of Canadian players at the U level would know it was a dead end with near zero hope of playing pro.  That would probably kill participation, and probably the whole U football program.

This definition would also include recent-ish immigrants to Canada who then played their 4 years in Canadian U, because it promotes and enriches the U football situation.  That would include guys like Muamba.

Secondary to that would be providing a path to the very talented Canadian born & raised U players, who manage to get into big football schools down south, to "come home".  They should qualify as NATs because why would we penalize a player for being good enough to get a full scholarship to a division 1 school??

I think what riles people up is the Woli situation of born & raised in the USA, played only in USA high schools and U, and then suddenly find out a parent holds a Canadian citizenship, and voila that qualifies them as a NAT.  I think Singleton was the same?  The main reason is they had nothing to do with any football program in Canada at all, nor did they spend their youth in Canada.  One would like to see at least one of those conditions met.

However, it is what it is for now, and I'm not going to really complain about it, because for the most part it "works".  And it doesn't hurt that we're the recipients of the benefit or Woli getting to be a NAT.  :D  :D  If the CFL wants to adjust the rule in the future, I'm sure most fans will be happier.  I would hope they rejig it to be more like how I've defined it.

And I'm happy it's worked out for Woli, and that he is proud to be a Winnipegger.  I like all the effort and loyalty he's shown in blue & gold.  He's the type of guy you want around.
Never go full Rider!

TecnoGenius

Quote from: Sir Blue and Gold on January 22, 2024, 04:19:40 PMI don't think Wolitarksy is in the same bucket as Philpot or Gittens. Not from a pure skill standpoint anyway. He's turned into a very experienced, reliable possession receiver which is traditionally the role a lot of National receivers carve out.

Gittens has had a down 1.5 years.  He may have peaked early and the best is behind him.  He was looking better than Woli for a while, but now, meh.  TOR felt he was expendable.

Philpot is not Woli level yet, but he is showing promise.  If he keeps on this track, he could get up to close to Demski level.  Maybe.

KSB is the real gem, in my books.  He fell off the radar with injury, but he was showing top-IMP level talent at times on a garbage team with bad QBing and even worse OCing and HCing.  He would sometimes make Kenny-level grabs.  I think the upside on KSB is high, and I hope SSK loses him in the not too distant future.  :D  :D

Back to Woli, besides JFG, who was our last couple of NAT placeholder WRs?  Watson?  I'm trying to remember... those guys never stood out and it's hard to remember their names, which says something in itself.  The only reason I remember JFG is I was a not-so-closet JFG fan and always loved how he never once caught the rail go pass in 2 full seasons here.  In contrast, I think we'll always remember Woli.
Never go full Rider!

Throw Long Bannatyne

Quote from: TecnoGenius on January 23, 2024, 01:33:37 AMYa, Woli was kind of a FAKENAT before such a thing existed vis a vis vet IMPs.  But so are a number of current CFL NATs.  I guess it's kind of like a "blood" thing, and if they have a Canadian parent then they are, by blood, i.e. family relations, part Canadian.  As long as they apply the definition and rules the same to everyone, I don't mind the situation.  The old-style FAKENATs (people who basically never set foot in Canada before) are exceptionally rare, with maybe 1 showing up every 1-3 years.

I believe the Bombers have at least 2 other imported Natls. who were not born in Canada but had Cdn. mothers in Eli and Bennett, although the later played a couple of years for the Univ. of Regina Rams.

Also LB Garrett Waggoner was here for a year or two and quit football to get into the flavoured water business in the US.  He was also picked up in the supplemental draft like Woli.

Jesse

Quote from: TecnoGenius on January 23, 2024, 01:33:37 AMYa, Woli was kind of a FAKENAT before such a thing existed vis a vis vet IMPs.  But so are a number of current CFL NATs.  I guess it's kind of like a "blood" thing, and if they have a Canadian parent then they are, by blood, i.e. family relations, part Canadian.  As long as they apply the definition and rules the same to everyone, I don't mind the situation.  The old-style FAKENATs (people who basically never set foot in Canada before) are exceptionally rare, with maybe 1 showing up every 1-3 years.

But if we want to step back and look at the reason for the ratio I think we can probably come up with a better rule.  From all I've learned over the last decade, the ratio exists mainly to promote the Canadian U (and to a lesser extent, high school) systems.  We want talented prospects to go through our systems and come out CFL-ready.  If that all went away and there was no CFL then 99% of Canadian players at the U level would know it was a dead end with near zero hope of playing pro.  That would probably kill participation, and probably the whole U football program.

This definition would also include recent-ish immigrants to Canada who then played their 4 years in Canadian U, because it promotes and enriches the U football situation.  That would include guys like Muamba.

Secondary to that would be providing a path to the very talented Canadian born & raised U players, who manage to get into big football schools down south, to "come home".  They should qualify as NATs because why would we penalize a player for being good enough to get a full scholarship to a division 1 school??

I think what riles people up is the Woli situation of born & raised in the USA, played only in USA high schools and U, and then suddenly find out a parent holds a Canadian citizenship, and voila that qualifies them as a NAT.  I think Singleton was the same?  The main reason is they had nothing to do with any football program in Canada at all, nor did they spend their youth in Canada.  One would like to see at least one of those conditions met.

However, it is what it is for now, and I'm not going to really complain about it, because for the most part it "works".  And it doesn't hurt that we're the recipients of the benefit or Woli getting to be a NAT.  :D  :D  If the CFL wants to adjust the rule in the future, I'm sure most fans will be happier.  I would hope they rejig it to be more like how I've defined it.

And I'm happy it's worked out for Woli, and that he is proud to be a Winnipegger.  I like all the effort and loyalty he's shown in blue & gold.  He's the type of guy you want around.

Yes - I don't want to say anything bad about Woli - who got his citizenship, lives here year round, and is now a fully fledged Canadian. He's like the dream example of it working out.

But when I was younger, I would hate Ben Cahoon, who always the poster child of "Canadian" all stars. But the joke was that he once ordered Tim Horton's in a lay over at the Toronto Airport and that's how he got his NI status.
My wife is amazing!

VictorRomano

One of the biggest reasons NHL players who aren't from Canada (and many who are) don't want to play in Winnipeg is the limited fanbase size.  Since players get paid a portion of every piece of merch the league sells with their name and number on it, it makes financial sense to big name players to play in a big market where the team might sell tens of thousands of your jerserys (LA/NYC/Chicago/Montreal/Toronto) than a small market (Winnipeg) where they might only sell a few hundred.  The brutal cold weather and lack of things to doin the winter are other reasons often listed by FAs as to why they have little interest in coming here.

theaardvark

Quote from: VictorRomano on January 23, 2024, 07:47:27 PMOne of the biggest reasons NHL players who aren't from Canada (and many who are) don't want to play in Winnipeg is the limited fanbase size.  Since players get paid a portion of every piece of merch the league sells with their name and number on it, it makes financial sense to big name players to play in a big market where the team might sell tens of thousands of your jerserys (LA/NYC/Chicago/Montreal/Toronto) than a small market (Winnipeg) where they might only sell a few hundred.  The brutal cold weather and lack of things to doin the winter are other reasons often listed by FAs as to why they have little interest in coming here.

I'd be curious just how much money players make from merch sales...
Unabashed positron.  Blue koolaid in my fridge.  I wear my blue sunglasses at night.  Homer, d'oh.

BLUEBOMBER


Pete

Quote from: theaardvark on January 24, 2024, 02:06:37 AMI'd be curious just how much money players make from merch sales...
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