Getting their man: Bombers acquire QB Willy from Riders | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Bombers Introduce QB Drew Willy Staff

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers appear to have finally found their new quarterback.

Thursday, the Bombers completed a trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders that will see QB Drew Willy head to Winnipeg in exchange for Canadian receiver Jade Etienne. Willy, who was set to become a free agent on Feb. 11, has also signed an extension with the Blue Bombers.

“Drew is a quarterback we have always thought had very high potential in this league. He immediately upgrades us at this position, and we really look forward to him being a part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moving forward,” said General Manager Kyle Walters.

Willy has spent the past two seasons with the Riders as the team’s backup quarterback, and has gone 2-2 as the quarterback of record during that time. He started two games in 2013, going 1-1, including a three touchdown and 269 yard performance in Saskatchewan’s win at Hamilton last July.

He finished 2013 completing 32 of 52 attempts for 474 yards and four touchdowns.

The 2012 season, Willy’s rookie year, saw him earn his first CFL victory in a come from behind win at Winnipeg in the Banjo Bowl. In that contest, he completed 17 of his 23 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another. He concluded the 2012 campaign completing 69 of 95 passes for 709 yards and five touchdowns, and 115 yards on 33 rushing attempts, with four touchdowns.

“I am really excited to join the Blue Bomber organization. The support the team gets from the province of Manitoba is remarkable. With such a deep history, the fans, the new stadium, and the direction the team wants to go, it’s going to be a great place to play. The people within the organization have shown genuine interest in me, and as a player, you can’t ask for anything more,” said Willy.

Prior to joining the Riders, Willy spent some time in the NFL on practice squads in Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Diego, and New York (Jets). He also had a stint in the UFL with Las Vegas in 2010.

Willy played his collegiate football at the University of Buffalo and went on to become the most prolific passer in school history. A four year starter, Willy set records for completions (849), attempts (1,322), passing yards (8,748), touchdowns (52), total offense (8,639), and completion percentage (64.2). In his final 20 games at Buffalo, Willy threw 36 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.

"Drew has the attitude and determination you look for at the quarterback position. He is physically and mentally tough, and can endure the challenges a quarterback faces, day in, and day out,” said Assistant General Manager, Director of U.S. Scouting and Canadian Football Hall of Fame quarterback, Danny McManus.

“He is a quarterback with great promise in our league.”

Etienne, meanwhile, was a first round pick of the Blue Bombers in the 2011 Draft, and after three CFL seasons, has caught 20 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.

Fan Comments
Ron Murphy
The Bombers just got a whole lot better. Still not enough though.
February 07, 2014 - 9:22am
We will have to wait and see if this was a good move for the Bomber organization or not. As for who will back up Durant,let the competition begin.
February 07, 2014 - 7:43am
GC Bound
Well I think the Riders need someone who can step in immediately, a proven backup for example like Coloras was/is and Bow Levi Mitchell was/is.
Someone who is not brand new to the CFL game.
February 07, 2014 - 12:15pm
als rule
GCB: A QB kevin glenn!!
February 08, 2014 - 9:42am
GC Bound
kevin glenn?
Interesting I think.
February 08, 2014 - 6:40pm
Didn't expect to get anything for Willy when he left. Riders need Canadian receivers so I'd call this a win-win.
February 07, 2014 - 7:05am
Riders definitely got the best part of that trade!
February 06, 2014 - 9:31pm
GC Bound
Now the Riders NEED a Proven Back up for DD who was hurt last season for a few games;
WHO's going to end up in Saskatchewan???
February 06, 2014 - 8:59pm
als rule
excellent move by the bombers!! HB or willy not a tough decision!! 3rd C receiver the bombers have lost this off season!!
February 06, 2014 - 5:18pm
So why did the give up Etienne to get a player who would be a free agent shortly???
February 06, 2014 - 3:50pm
Winnipeg didn't wanna risk losing Drew Willy in free agency. Saskatchewan wanted to get something for Willy, therefor a smart trade. Bombers likely had a behind the scenes deal with Willy along the trade after it's all said and done. Like the Riders trading for Simon with him signing right away...not that difficult to put together man
February 06, 2014 - 7:32pm
als rule
for you both willy signed a new contract with winnipeg before the deal was announced, it's in the story!!
February 08, 2014 - 9:41am
Well this move might make the Bomber fans feel better!
February 06, 2014 - 3:09pm
Nice job for the Riders adding another home-grown receiver and fan favourite. Especially since the Riders were most likely going to lose Willy to free agency in a few days anyways.
February 06, 2014 - 2:49pm
drew willy coyote will take them to the promose land, not
February 06, 2014 - 2:28pm