WINNIPEG – The Blue Bombers finally have their quarterback. The football club acquired Drew Willy from the Saskatchewan Roughriders Thursday in exchange for Canadian receiver Jade Etienne. The team then announced it has signed Willy to a contract extension. Both Willy and Etienne were scheduled to become CFL Free Agents next week.
After the Bombers were rejected by both Zach Collaros and then Henry Burris General Manager Kyle Walters turned his attention to the 25 year old Willy. He has spent the last two seasons with the Riders serving as Darian Durant’s backup. In that time Willy posted a 2 and 2 record as a starter. He has completed 101 of 147 passes for 1,182 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Willy’s completion percentage rate is a respectable 68.7.
“Drew is a quarterback we have always thought had very high potential in this league. He immediately upgrades us at this position, and we really look forward to him being a part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moving forward,” said General Manager Kyle Walters in a release announcing the trade.
Willy commented that “I am really excited to join the Blue Bomber organization. The support the team gets from the province of Manitoba is remarkable. With such a deep history, the fans, the new stadium, and the direction the team wants to go, it’s going to be a great place to play. The people within the organization have shown genuine interest in me, and as a player, you can’t ask for anything more.”
Willy bounced around NFL practice squads before landing with the Riders spending time with the Colts, Ravens, Chargers and Jets. He also played with Las Vegas in the UFL in 2010.
Before that Willy played at the University of Buffalo setting numerous school records. In his final 20 games at Buffalo, he threw 36 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.
Jade Etienne was a first round pick of the Blue Bombers in the 2011 Draft, and only saw significant playing time this season catching 20 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.