WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have cleared a considerable amount of salary cap space by trading former #1 quarterback Drew Willy to the Toronto Argonauts for a 2017 first round draft pick, a third round pick in 2018, and international defensive back TJ Heath.
And to make sure they have an adequate backup for new starter Matt Nichols, the Blue Bombers have sent a fourth round pick in 2017 to Montreal for veteran Kevin Glenn.
Ironically, Willy could make his first start for Toronto next Saturday when the Bombers host the Argonauts in a 1 p.m. game at Investors Group Field.
Bombers general manager Kyle Walters says the chemistry offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice found with new starter Matt Nichols couldn’t be replicated with Willy.
“It’s not uncommon where certain skill sets of players match up with certain coordinators a little bit better,” says Walters. “I think in this situation, Matt’s just aligns with Paul’s a little bit better.”
Toronto was in need of quarterbacking help after veteran Ricky Ray was lost for at least a month with a fractured rib in the 49-36 Labor Day loss at Hamilton. Dan Lefevour started Sunday’s rematch against his former Tiger Cat team mates.
Winnipeg is 6-0 since Nichols replaced Willy after the Bombers got off to a 1-4 start. Willy, who is in the first year of a 400-450 thousand dollar per season contract, had decent stats- but no tangible results to show for it. He completed 137/191 passes (71.1%), but for only 1473 yards and 5 touchdowns while being intercepted 4 times for a 94.0 efficiency rating.
Nichols has not been a whole lot better stat wise, going 147/208 (70.7%). But he has passed for 1695 yards, and has thrown for 7 touchdowns and just 1 interception for a significantly better 104.0 Quarterback Rating.
It has been an up and down 2016 for Glenn, who has the same 94.0 QBR as Willy after throwing for 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The 37 year old Detroit native completed 222/314 passes for 2547 yards before being replaced as a starter by Rakeem Cato last Friday in BC. This will be a second tour of duty with the Blue and Gold for Glenn after playing five seasons in Winnipeg from 2004-08.