Winnipeg – The Defensive Line was an area of concern for Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters going into the off season. Specifically a pass rush that was more non existent than it was productive in 2016.
So the Blue Bombers General Manager was pretty pumped to officially announce the signing of former Toronto Argonaut, and 2014 CFL East Division Most Outstanding Rookie, Tristan Okpalaugo to a two year deal on Wednesday Afternoon.
The 6-6, 250 pound Fresno State Grad racked up 22 sacks in 36 games with the Argos prior to joining the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals in 2016.
“I know it sounds cliché, but we got our guy,” said Walters in a team news release. “We have had Tristan targeted for quite some time now, and to finally secure him is a great thing for us. He’s a game-changing football player, there’s no question about it, and we are excited to see what he will bring to our defence.”
“I’m really excited to join Coach O’Shea and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers,” said Okpalaugo. “It was a process that took some time in terms of determining where was the best fit, but the organization in Winnipeg is very attractive for me; from the players and coaches to the facilities they have. The fans are deeply invested in the team, and it seems like just a great football town. I can’t wait.”
The Blue Bombers “bend but not break” defence tied with BC for the second fewest points allowed with 454. But Winnipeg’s 35 sacks ranked the Bombers 7th among the 9 teams in that category.
“With the signing of Tristan and the addition of Kenny Stafford last month, we were able to secure two players we had targeted as free agents and that we feel could improve our roster immensely,” added Walters.