Blue Bombers Re-Sign Jefferson, Troubles Just Starting

Blue Bombers Re-Sign Jefferson, Troubles Just Starting

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive end, Willie Jefferson Tweeted out a cryptic message on Thursday night, saying “Back that Brinks truck up to IG Field!!!”, sending Twitter and Blue Bombers fans into speculation that he had re-signed with the club for the 2022 season.

This speculation has turned out to be true with Justin Dunk reporting that Jefferson had re-upped with the Blue Bombers just after midnight on Friday. According to that same report, this contract is in the range of $225,000 (adjusted after a previous report) and will make him the highest-paid defensive player in the Canadian Football League.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Willie Jefferson celebrates a defensive stop. (John Woods/CP)

The deal is well-deserved for Jefferson who was named a CFL West-Division All-Star and a CFL All-Star after yet another impressive season in Winnipeg. He finished the 2021 season with seven sacks, 18 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and one touchdown. Of course, this was capped off with a Grey Cup championship for the second-consecutive season.

Related: Winnipeg Blue Bombers Free Agency 2022

This is the first big hurdle for the Blue Bombers this offseason, but there appears to be more good news on the horizon. Farhan Lalji Tweeted shortly after the signing was announced saying “Willie Jefferson has agreed to a 1-year extension with the #Bombers. Hearing that Jackson Jeffcoat is also closing in on a deal to remain in Winnipeg, but not done yet.”

It’s expected that the Blue Bombers will lose some key players this offseason thanks to much of their roster being up for Free Agency on February 8th. Some of these names include Zach Collaros, Andrew Harris, Darvin Adams, Stanley Bryant, and Adam Bighill, but there are more.

Blue Bombers’ general manager Kyle Walters will already be feeling the pressure of the offseason, but it is one of the unfortunate realities of having a successful team. When you win, other teams will always want to poach your players where possible.

“You have to decide on your core group of veterans that you’re going to make every attempt to get back, and try to spend your money there,” Walters said. “And try to plug holes wherever you can, whether it be free agency, scouting, the draft, that sort of stuff.”

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros (8) throws against the Edmonton Elks during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, October 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

“At the end of the day, there’s just not enough pie to go around. Based on the pecking order and the timing of everything, the money goes. And here’s all that’s left. That’s a discussion down the road. But there will be those, for sure.”

“If the offers are fair or somewhat close, I generally think guys will come back here. But certain guys we’re just not going to be able to pay what the market will pay,” he said.

Signing Jefferson is a massive step, but this is just the start of the headaches for Walters. It’s likely this team will look quite different when the 2022 season kicks off.

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