A couple of weeks ago it sure looked like neither Oliveira nor Schoen were returning. Yet the Bomber’s front office continues to prove that the fans should trust them.
These signings may actually be a case where the CFL’s ‘legal tampering window’ helped the Bombers – more on that in a upcoming article.
In fact early on the Bombers were waiting to see what those two would do before they re-signed players. Yet, as that process was slow, the Bombers had to start making signings without knowing where Oliveira or Schoen were going to land.
Bombers fans rejoiced on February 6, when the club announced that they signed Oliveira and about an hour later Schoen. While Oliveira inked a 2-year deal; Schoen went for a 1-year deal. Why the discrepancy in the length of the deals?
I am assuming that both players heard from other teams (during the CFL’s ‘legal tampering window’) and decided Winnipeg was the best choice. Oliveira has to be looking to 2025 when Winnipeg hosts the Grey Cup…a Winnipeg guy with the chance to play for the Grey Cup in his home city has an appeal! As for Schoen, he possibly thought that he could get the most money with a 1-year deal. If he plays lights our again, he must get a raise in 2025!
And if you think Bombers fans were excited about the signings…check out how excited the social media person was (can you spot the error?).
For fans wanting to see the return of both Oliveira and Schoen there were some signs pointing in that direction. When the Bombers let Hardrick go (to the Riders no less) you had to think the Bombers were freeing up money. (And man watching Hardrick go against Jefferson is going to be fun to watch)! And even before that reports were that Jackson Jeffcoat was going to see what he could get on the open market.
It also appears that the Bombers knew they were not going to re-sign Demerio Houston, as he made a deal with Calgary right around the time the Bombers were making their announcements.
So how much are these guys going to be making?
Schoen’s one-year deal will pay him around $230,000, far better than the CFL minimum $70,000 he was earning, but less than the league’s top receivers, including teammate Kenny Lawler.
Oliveira, the leading rusher, signed a two-year deal with a similar annual salary as Schoen’s, making him the highest-paid running back in the league.
The Bombers will certainly have some holes that they have to fill…but that might all be bad. The story for the Bombers is that they were getting older. And yes, they were in the last 4 Grey Cups…but lost the last 2.
I would expect the signings to start coming fast and furious for the Bombers now! I also would not expect the Bombers to ‘make a splash’ in free agency but rather methodically add pieces.
Who do you think the Bombers will sign next?
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