Winnipeg – What has already been a pretty good week for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers became that much better. The Bombers have re-signed starting quarterback Matt Nichols to a new three year contract, through the 2019 CFL season.
Financial details on the new deal for Nichols are not being disclosed by the team.
Nichols says he’s thrilled to be back in blue and gold and never really considered leaving.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity that Kyle Walters and Coach O’Shea gave me when they acquired me in 2015,” says Nichols. “That was the beginning of a fresh start for me, and I was able to get a full opportunity last season. I truly feel we are on the precipice of great things with this organization from top to bottom, and I’m appreciative that they feel I am the quarterback to lead them there.”
Bombers General Manager Kyle Walters says getting his pivot to sign on the dotted line was definitely top priority in a busy off season.
““Obviously it was going to take some time on both sides, but we’re ecstatic as an organization to get this finalized today and continue building for 2017 and beyond.”
Earlier this week the Winnipeg Football club re-signed Darvin Adams for three years, and also added former Edmonton Eskimo and Montreal Alouette Kenny Stafford for two years. Bolstering a receiving corps that already includes Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith, as well as the dynamic Andrew Harris out of the backfield.
Toss in an offensive line that is developing into one of the better units in the league, and a Head Coach in Mike O’Shea who has believed in Nichols ever since acquiring him in a trade with Edmonton midway through the 2015 season- and it would have appeared to be a slam dunk for Nichols to remain a Blue Bomber rather then test the free agent market on February 14th.
The soon to be 30 year old pivot from Redding, California replaced Drew Willy as the starting quarterback in week six this past season after Winnipeg lost four of the first five games. Beginning with a 30-23 victory against his former Eskimo team mates at Commonwealth Stadium on July 28th, Nichols led the Blue Bombers on a seven game winning streak that helped the Winnipeg Football Club nail down their first playoff berth in five years.
The season ended with a heart-breaking 32-31 loss to the BC LIons in the West Division semifinal at Vancouver. But Nichols clearly established himself as the team’s unquestioned leader. The former Eastern Washington standout completed 327 of 471 (69.4%) passes for 3666 yards, 18 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions.
In 46 career CFL games, spread out over 5 season with Edmonton and Winnipeg because of some earlier injuries, Nichols has thrown for 8809 yards and 48 touchdowns.