It appears that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are done waiting to see what what some of their pending free agents are doing (big names like Oliveira & Schoen) and are going forward.
That does not mean that the Bombers would not love to have Oliveira and Schoen back…they simply just have to move forward. That is why on January 16, 2024 the Bombers re-signed Stanley Bryant to a one year deal. That takes the total of Bomber potential free agents signed by the club to 8/37.
Other reports indicate that Kenny Lawler has restructured his contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While the details have not been made public, this would imply that the Bombers have freed up some salary cap space through the restructured deal.
In his interview, on January 9, 2024, Bombers’ General Manager, Kyle Walters said that they have to wait for some of the big names like Oliveira and Schoen to make a decision before the club can really start putting pen to paper with their remaining pending free agents. And that makes sense. Those two players will command higher dollars than other players, so their has to be money in the pot to pay the top guys.
So what are the top not re- signing with Winnipeg? What are the top guys waiting for? The answer is simple…an NFL shot. However, in that same interview, Kyle Walters, said that Oliveira has not yet had an NFL workout.
Walters also mentioned that he has not talked numbers with Oliveira nor Schoen because neither of them are in that head space right now; as they are wanting NFL shots.
We do have to remember that this will be the third time Schoen is trying break through the NFL door. NFL scouts passed on him initially, then after a fabulous 2022 year he got some more looks; but was eventually passed up by the NFL again, yet he is trying a third kick at the can. I have been told that the knock against Schoen making it to the NFL is that he does not fit what they are looking for. Speculation was that without the waggle he was not as dynamic.
Time will tell what happens with Oliveira and Schoen, but it looks like the Bombers may have fired a warning shot today with the re-signing of Stanley Bryant. That re-signing may be a signal to players that the Bombers are wanting to get some deals done. The risk with pending free-agents holding out is that the team may run out of money to offer them what they want.
Who do you think would be a bigger loss for the Bombers; Oliveira or Schoen?
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