WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers may be getting a head start on free agency, as TSN‘s Gary Lawless and the Winnipeg Sun‘s Kirk Penton both report the team is close to signing star receiver Weston Dressler.
The eight-year CFL veteran was released in a surprise move by the Riders nearly a week ago and reportedly garnered interest from multiple teams, including the Bombers and Stamps.
Dressler, 30, spent eight seasons with the Riders and has 7,797 career receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.
The Riders made shockwaves across the league by releasing both Dressler and defensive end John Chick, both perennial franchise cornerstones. But with the arrival of Chris Jones as head coach and GM on the heels of a 3-15 season, the Riders decided it was time to move on.
The Bombers, meanwhile, are expected to be aggressive this off-season in what’s considered a make or break year for them. They started off their off-season by retaining backup quarterback Matt Nichols and hiring a new offensive coordinator in Paul LaPolice, expecting to bolster an offence that ranked dead last in the CFL in production a season ago.
While the two sides may be close, nothing has yet been confirmed. Lawless tweeted again Wednesday that while Dressler has a firm offer from Winnipeg, a decision isn’t likely right away.
Dressler has a firm offer from @Wpg_BlueBombers but sounds like agent is dealing with other interest as well. Decision today unlikely — gary lawless (@garylawless) January 20, 2016
Winnipeg finished fourth in the West with a 5-13 record last year in Mike O’Shea’s second full season as head coach.
While the Bombers stand to lose receiver Nick Moore to free agency on Feb. 9, Dressler would join Darvin Adams and Drew Willy as emerging star players on an otherwise young Bomber offence.