A key part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ success will be in the city for two more seasons.
The club announced Tuesday that veteran linebacker Adam Bighill — a multi-season all-star and three-time Most Outstanding Defensive Player — has signed a two-year contract extension.
Bighill, 34, who was scheduled to become a free agent in February, is a three-time Grey Cup champ — 2019 and 2021 with the Bombers, and 2011 with the B.C. Lions.
“Chasing a potentially higher contract with free agency – it really isn’t worth the risk of not being in a good situation,” Bighill said in a zoom interview.
Bighill was wearing a cast on his left hand and revealed he broke a bone in his hand late in the Grey Cup game.
The two-year contract contains some guaranteed money and retirement is still a long ways off.
“Whenever it is I decide I do want to retire, it’s at least two years down the road,” said Bighill. “Maybe more, but I knew it wasn’t this year, and I knew it wasn’t next.
“We got a good thing going here and it made sense for me to be back, absolutely.”
He’ll return for a fifth season in blue and gold — his 11th overall in the CFL — next year, building on a stellar career that sees him currently sitting at seventh all-time in the league for tackles.
Bighill was chosen as a division all-star for the eighth time of his career this past year. He led the club with 72 defensive tackles, to go along with two sacks and an interception while appearing in every game.
And while head coach Mike O’Shea is still without a contract for next season, Bighill said he signed on to return because he believes the reigning two-time CFL’s coach of the year will also be back with the blue and gold.
“My commitment and I’m sure Zach’s (Collaros) commitment and others commitment has all been predicated on some sort of comfortability that Osh (O’Shea) is going to be here,” he said. “Anything can happen, and don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but I’m anticipating to be playing for Mike O’Shea.”
The Washington state native has appeared in 65 games over the last four seasons in Winnipeg.