The quarterback who led the Winnipeg Blue Bombers through the playoffs to a Grey Cup victory has signed a two-year extension with the blue and gold.
The Bombers announced the club and Zach Collaros made the agreement Monday.
Collaros, 31, started four games for Winnipeg after first-string QB Matt Nichols was injured. He played the last regular-season game, two playoff games and ultimately the Grey Cup championship.
He finished the 2019 post-season completing 45 of his 69 pass attempts for 630 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
680 CJOB’s voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Bob Irving, said he wasn’t surprised about the signing.
“They had him their No. 1 priority of the three quarterbacks who are becoming free agents — Matt Nichols and Chris Streveller are the other two,” he said.
“But Collaros played so well down the stretch … and led them to the Grey Cup victory. It was a tough decision, I can tell you that.”
As for Nichols, who was a Bombers QB for the past four seasons, there’s likely some disappointment from him, said Irving.
“Great disappointment, probably some anger,” said Irving.
“Matt really’d become a Winnipeg Blue Bomber. He loved playing here. He made that $10,000 donation to the health sciences centre late last season. He’d really become a part of this community.
“And I know he wanted to finish his career here and that was his plan. But circumstances can change.”
It’s likely backup QB Chris Streveler won’t be playing for the Bombers this year, Irving added.
“I think he’s going to the National Football League. I think he’s gone. There are teams down there who are interested in him.
“And I think the Bombers are looking at him as a guy who’s not going to be here in 2020. I hope I’m wrong.”
Before he became a Blue Bomber, Collaros was a Saskatchewan Roughrider, and before then, a Toronto Argonaut and a Hamilton Tiger-Cat. He was a Most Outstanding Player candidate with the Ticats in 2016 before a knee injury ended his season.
“That year, Collaros threw for 3,376 yards with 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions while appearing in just 12 games,” the football club said in a release.
“He had 2,938 yards passing and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 18:8 in just 10 games in 2016, and started eight games with the Ticats in 2017, with eight touchdowns and 1,767 yards passing.”
In his his CFL career, Collaros has thrown for 16,979 yards and 94 touchdowns.