WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers admit they simply couldn’t skip on the opportunity to add coveted veteran receiver Weston Dressler to the club.
“With this case, (head coach) Mike (O’Shea), myself and (offensive coordinator) Paul (LaPolice) sat down and discussed that this was the type of player we wanted in the offence,” said Bombers general manager Kyle Walters.
Winnipeg has persuaded Dressler to head east and sign a two-year contract with the team. The American has played his entire eight season CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, racking up 7,797 yards and 50 touchdowns off 539 catches. Dressler was Saskatchewan’s leading receiver in 2008, 2009 and 2012. He was named a league All-Star twice and a Division All-Star four times. The University of North Dakota alum was cut by the Roughriders on January 14.
“He’s one of the best receivers in the league,” said Walters. “He’s going to come in and show everybody on offence, across the board, what a winner looks like from a work ethic and leadership standpoint.
The deal was finalized late Monday night after Winnipeg’s initial offer landed a few thousand dollars off Dressler’s asking price. The Bombers say they leaned on LaPolice and quarterback Drew Willy to lure Dressler to Winnipeg.
“You use everything you have,” said Walters. “You put a strategy together and line up everything you think you have in your favour and go over it with the player. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s other things.”
Dressler will help replace the hole left by pending free agent slotback Nick Moore. The Bombers decided before signing Dressler that they were going to move on from Moore.
“This Weston becoming available had zero impact on the plans for Nick,” said Walters. “We weren’t prepared to offer a contract to Nick prior to free agency. We were going to go after some other guys and see how it all panned out.”
Dressler has amassed 1000-yards in a single season five times in his career and has 25 100-yard receiving games. The 30-year-old won his first and only Grey Cup title in 2013. He’s also played in seven CFL playoff games. Dressler was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs on February 5, 2014 but returned to Canada prior to the start of the NFL season.
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