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What Was The Bomber’s Biggest Free Agency Surprise?

Was it a signing or a lack of a signing that was the biggest surprise to you?

I have to admit that I was surprised the Bombers re-signed Brady Oliveira. I was also surprised that the Bombers re-signed Dalton Schoen. I was more than doubly surprised that the Bombers re-signed both!

I was also surprised that the Bombers let certain players walk.

After all of that it looked like the Bombers would also be looking for a kicker…but then out of nowhere the Bombers re-signed Sergio Castillo! But what surprised me in that re-signing is that it was only a 1-year deal!

Yes, absolutely; the Bombers need to be a great team in 2024. But do not forget that Winnipeg is hosting the 2025 Grey Cup! Many of the players that the Bombers re-signed for 2024 did 2-year deals; undoubtedly both players and staff looking to the 2025 Grey Cup.

So what can we make about Castillo’s 1-year deal? To me, it implies that Castillo believe he is nearing the end of his career and is not sure if he wants to play 2 more years. Guaranteed, Castillo will play as long as he wants; it will be his decision to make.

So the other thing that surprises me is that the Bombers have not signed another bona fide kicker. They know they will need a strong kicking game in 2025 to try and be in the Grey Cup.

Here is what does not surprise me. I am not surprised; not in the least, that Rasheed Bailey took a deal elsewhere! Maybe that confuses you a bit. But here is the deal. I had a chance t hear Rasheed Bailey speak at an event in 2023. The consummate teammate mentioned that he got as far as he did in his career by doing that which was needed. Often than meant not being the “go to guy” and instead blocking for other receivers.

Yet, CFL careers are notoriously short. So you simply cannot blame a players for wanting to make their money wen they can.

So what was the biggest surprise to you from the Bombers this free agency? Let me know in the comments section wherever you are reading this.

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Don Cruickshank Reporter
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gerry H

    March 5, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    What didn’t surprise me was that they lost so many veterans. What did surprise me was they got as many veterans back as they did.
    Kyle Walters talked about veteran players coming with veteran contracts. Experience costs money, success costs money, and at a certain point you have to sign younger contracts to balance the budget.
    I think Bailey would have stayed for less money, but the bank was empty. Same for Hardrick, Houston, etc. The Bombers have 4 players from last year’s draft that went back to school plus 2 extra draft picks this year. That’s 16 young Canadians of which they’re hoping a number make the roster and they need space for. And with luck one or two can start or back up quickly.
    With the reality of the salary cap, I’d say the Bombers are trying to balance the cost of success in the present with on-the-fly development to sustain success in the future.

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