Pending free agent kicker Justin Medlock weighing options after Bombers loss

Judy Owen, Canadian Press

Kicker Justin Medlock says retirement is one option he’ll consider now that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ season is over.

Another surprise as the players cleaned out their lockers Monday was quarterback Matt Nichols revealing the injured ring finger on his throwing hand was actually broken.

Medlock, a pending free agent, made all three of his field-goal attempts in Sunday’s 39-32 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL West Division semifinal.

“I want to take a second to kind of think about what I want to do, whether I want to play, whether I want to play somewhere else, whether I want to play here,” Medlock, 34, said.

Moving on after seven CFL seasons and time in the NFL is one option for the Florida resident, who was a key free-agent signing by Winnipeg last year.

“Been thinking about doing some other things in life, maybe, so we’ll see,” Medlock said. “But I’m also considering coming back, too. I love playing here.”

He added he wasn’t fully happy with his season, which included three game-winning field goals. He also had one outing where he missed all three tries and another when he was 2-of-4 and went wide on a 39-yard potential game-winner against Toronto.

Going into the season, Medlock was the most accurate kicker in CFL history. He finished with a league-high 226 points, but his 80.0 field-goal percentage (56-of-70) was last among eight qualifying kickers and his punting average of 43.7 yards was tied for eighth with Calgary’s Rob Maver.

Medlock is one of an estimated 17 or more pending free agents that include well-known players such as receiver Weston Dressler, defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman, offensive linemen Stanley Bryant and Travis Bond and defensive stars Maurice Leggett and Chris Randle.

The good news is that list doesn’t include Nichols, whose leadership and drive helped the team finish the regular season with a 12-6 record. It was the most wins since 2002 and Sunday’s game was the first home playoff match since 2011.

Nichols said although his ring finger was broken in a game against Hamilton Oct. 6, it was only painful and didn’t affect his throws like a busted finger closer to his thumb might have.

He described an injury to his left leg as a strained calf from an Oct. 21 game against Toronto he initially thought was a lingering severe cramp. It was injured earlier in an Oct. 28 loss to B.C.

Nichols repeated his post-game comments that he didn’t think the calf limited him against Edmonton because he wasn’t flushed out of the pocket and forced to run.

His focus Monday was talking to all his teammates before the tight-knit group disbanded. He said he will be in touch with the free agents.

“I’ll definitely be a salesman and try and keep everyone here,” Nichols said.

“I feel like we have a really good thing going here. I felt like we took a big stride from last season.”

Winnipeg finished 11-7 last year and lost to B.C. in the West semifinal when Medlock was sent out to attempt a late 61-yard field goal that fell short.

The team only won two of its last five games this season and was hit by late-season injuries to Westerman, Leggett and top receiver Darvin Adams.

It was suspected Dressler was playing with a hand injury, but he refused to discuss the topic. The 10-year veteran wants to continue his career, and hopes that’s in Winnipeg with a group of players he says has a special bond.

Edmonton’s victory included a pair of touchdowns after two of Winnipeg’s three turnovers. The Bombers gave up the ball on downs following a failed fake punt and another after Dressler fumbled. He won’t forget that for a while.

“Those are just kind of the what-ifs that tend to haunt you as a player after a loss,” Dressler said.

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9 Comments on Pending free agent kicker Justin Medlock weighing options after Bombers loss

  1. Walters is going to have to prioritize who he signs. Other positions need attention. Like to see Medlock back.

  2. Medlock is a good kicker. I think all the teams have a lot of free agents. The new norm think.

  3. I’d like to see the Bombers find more talent like Sask, Cal & Edm, who seem to come up with elite talent they don’t have to overpay for their 1st couple of years. Harris, Dressler, Cummings, Nevis all got good pay but it wasn’t enough to take them over the top. Cummings & Nevis were both big $$ busts. Walters took a look at the stats & saw both of them as the answer forgetting that Cummings got his sacks playing beside Laing & Nevis played alongside Laurent. Put Cummings beside Sewell a year later & you see what happens vs playing with Shologan. I think the Bombers have to be more judicious with their CAP $$$. They want instant solutions so you get a big $$$ player here & there but you need the small pieces to make it all work. We saw this yesterday with the 3 All-Star DB’s not being much use if you got 2 guys who are not all that good back there. Is Medlock worth another big $$$ contract? When we’re attempting over 60 FG’s every year maybe we should be looking at getting some more playmakers on offence, specifically some big physical receivers so we’re not constantly kicking FG’s. No TD’s from the offence in 3 of the last 4 games – not good enough. The Bombers spent yesterday responding to 3 TD drives by Edm with 3 FG’s. Let’s face it, the game was over @ 39-16. The Bombers scored one more & then basically had the last one with zeros on the clock given to them. I don’t think Edm tried too hard at that point. Just get the game over.

  4. Good year for the Bombers overall. Hey the Redblacks are in the same boat. Some teams break thru on a given year to be champs and the Bombers appear close in doing that once they get that 1st playoff win.

  5. Hmmmmm why didn’t the geniuses on 3dn Nation do a story on Winnipegs Elite free agents just days before their playoff game to try and cause dissention or controversy >>>>> Phhh I know just more pure bullshit from the Rider hating DUNK and EDWARDS , kjust another couple of useless eastern Canadian hac loosers trying to cause shit !!!

  6. I would suggest that Medlock come back another year — the Bombers are on the upswing. The loss of Westerman and Leggett really weakened their defence, whereas Edmonton had their injured stars back. It was the main reason for the result I believe, a lot more than Adams on offence. This team will be good next year, I guarantee.

  7. This is sad. Using the context of a death to talk football.

  8. Time to say goodbye to Ian Wild. They need way more depth at linebacker

  9. ya why dont theytell us who the bombersfree agents are

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