How and why Adarius Bowman landed with the Bombers

Sources say there were multiple teams in the mix for star receiver Adarius Bowman, who ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Bombers in the $140,000 range.

The Riders made a substantial offer and were hot on him early while the Lions weren’t willing to dedicate the cap space to another receiver. The Argos made a late push but Montreal was never really a consideration due to their unproven quarterbacking situation.

Saskatchewan had coaching connections with Chris Jones and Stephen McAdoo under which Bowman flourished while together in Edmonton. Back-to-back 1,300-yard-plus season in 2014 (1,456 yards) and 2015 (1,304), but the fit wasn’t there for Bowman.

New B.C. offensive coordinator Jarious Jackson was the passing game coordinator for those two impressive seasons Bowman had in Edmonton and he wanted Bowman, but B.C. general manager Ed Hervey, who knows the big pass catcher from many years together in Edmonton, wasn’t willing to use more funds at that position.

Toronto entered the proceedings in the fourth quarter, trying to make twin towers in their receiving core by pairing Bowman with S.J. Green. Marc Trestman thinks very highly of how Bowman conducts himself on the field and the work he does in the community.

“The ball was in the Argos court,” one source said. But the shot was blocked by Bowman when he decided on Winnipeg.

The culture in Winnipeg and the feeling that the Bombers can compete for a Grey Cup title ultimately won Bowman over. Mike O’Shea has created a strong locker room and the 32-year-old will fit well in there. Bowman spent one season in Saskatchewan and in his first tour in the Peg under current Bombers offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice.

Winnipeg franchise quarterback Matt Nichols had four years in Edmonton with Bowman, familiarity no other team could offer at football’s most important position. That sealed the deal late for the Bombers.

“He makes the wrong choice and his career is over. It can’t all be based on money,” another source said. “Right fit is the most important.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (890 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

31 Comments on How and why Adarius Bowman landed with the Bombers

  1. More and more we hearing about the winning culture factor in players deciding to choose the Bombers. Kyle and Mike are making Winnipeg the place to play.

    • It’s just too bad they’re not making Winnipeg the place to win… #1990 #TheresAlwaysNextYear

    • Bad to the bone // February 9, 2018 at 12:21 pm //

      A wining culture? 28 Seasons and counting with no Grey Cup.
      The reason is in black and white… 4 years with Matt Nichols in Edmonton sealed the deal.

    • Must win a playoff game. They’ve done a good job poaching talent but need to win in post season!

  2. I’m sure Bowman wants to play and work in a nice stadium too

  3. Paul Bomber // February 9, 2018 at 10:49 am //

    Not to shock anyone, but I guess Bowman knows something I don’t – ’cause I just don’t see the Bombers making a real push for the cup any time soon. The D was beyond pathetic last year, the Offense was more than adequate, and although a big possession receiver like Bowman will make us better, we should be spending the money on guys like TJ Heath and maybe a Bear Woods. I like O’Shea & Walters, but they aren’t doing Wpg any favours. Oh well, once they figure out how to run a team, watch them run back home to Southern Ontario to work for Hammy, T.O. or maybe Ottawa.

    • Dan Bombers // February 9, 2018 at 11:17 am //

      Come on Paul have a little faith. I know it’s been hard to be a Bombers fan over the years believe me I know but things are looking up !!

    • This is pretty much how I see it. My guess is that he picked Winnipeg because he’ll be the clear #1 there. I know he was injured, but to my eye he seemed uncomfortable with the fact that Zylstra was the #1 by the time Bowman came back.

      Winnipeg still has options, however. They could go with Bowman and Adams as their 1 and 2, and maybe sign Demski and go with a new recruit to be 3 and 4,or even pick up TJ Thorpe again if he doesn’t make the Riders, and then cut Dressler and use that money on defense. Or maybe a better way to go would be to start the season with Dressler as insurance to make sure Bowman settles in, and then when/if he does look to move or release Dressler then. Options, options.

    • Paul, we got him for $140k, quite a deal for his ability. And we never had a consistent slot other than Dress and Flanders. This fills a BIG hole in the O. On D, we got smoked by the rookies in the secondary. Walker was coming around later in the season, and there will be a ton of D-backs in camp. Should improve considerably this year. I think Walters has done an amazing job, and Osh has been learning and improving every year. The consistency will pay off, soon.

  4. A little surprised. Really thought the Riders or Lions would get him. If healthy he should be a real good addition to the Bombers offense.

    • Paul Bomber // February 9, 2018 at 11:13 am //

      No doubt… I agree with you, but we need help on D and this does nothing to address that problem.
      It’s like we’ve got a boat with a big hole in, taking on water fast, and we’ve decided to spend our monthly engine maintenance instead.
      Hope I’m wrong… but I don’t think so.

      • Paul, a lot of things can change prior to a season as you’re well aware. I would think with less than a week remaining before free agency, changes will be made by all CFL clubs before, during and even after the frenzy is complete. For the time being, I think the Bombers made a good signing. Bowman had some great years in Edmonton and most clubs consider his size a real asset against smaller defensive backs. His drawbacks though are father-time and an inconsistent season last year. Defensively, a player here or there can change an entire surrounding core, meaning the attributes that player brings to the table and how it helps other players adjust their skillset with that player on the playing field can be a real bonus. I think it was a good move by the blue and gold. And the Bombers will likely be as competitive as other teams in 2018 making for a great CFL season.

  5. Paul, we’ll save a spot for you on the bandwagon come November ;). While I agree with you that the defense was the issue last year, adding another potent weapon to this offense is a huge get. I expect Walters to be very active on Tuesday, with his focus mostly on the defensive side (hello Larry Dean). However, it won’t matter how much is spent on whomever is brought in if Richie Hall’s defensive scheme isn’t adjusted. IMO

  6. I think the guaranteed playing time argument is the main reason.

    If I’m Adarius Bowman, an extra $20k (likely very little of it in upfront cash) isn’t enough to entice me to join a Riders team that is already beyond stacked at receiver, trying to compete for a starting international spot against Carter, Roosevelt, Owens, Holley, and Grant. In an age where player contracts are as one-sided in favor of the team as they’ve ever been, Bowman had to pick the team where he was most likely to get a starting job and keep it.

    I’m sure his familiarity with Nichols helped too.

  7. It seems strange on this forum – how the Riders are chastised for salary cap suspicions but ‘now with all the name player signings Winnipeg has accrued’ C’mon – lol

    Ah ya – I love the CFL !

  8. $140,000 on the books.
    Classic bomber spin

  9. Mike holm // February 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm //

    I hear a lot of comments about using the bowman money to address the weakness on the d. Do you think for a moment Kyle doesn’ Know that! You all won’t see changes on the d till free agency with at least 2 picks one of which will be a middle lb.

    • Interesting. The Bear is still FA! The Mac is Coach Mike’s position after all. Only the best available will do!

  10. Bombers continue to sign retreads instead of finding their own players via scouting like the good organizations. Add another year to the long list of Grey Cup-less seasons in Winnipeg……

  11. Wow, a player actually took LESS money to play in Winnipeg. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before. Just wow! Is Bowman medically fit? as in mentally fit?

  12. This is a good signing for Wpg, he will be #1 and get a lot of balls thrown his way. If he signed with the Riders or the Argos he would, at best, be the #2 or #3 guy which doesn’t suit his personality. I’m not a Bomber fan but this will make their offense much better.

  13. Any time you can add an explosive receiver, and a game changer, it automatically makes your team better! Bombers are not far from the top.

  14. I see the usual crybaby triggered Rider fans are on here insulting the Bombers cause they got the player and the Sliders didn’t. Typical classless Rider fans so nothing new

    • fannotacoach // February 10, 2018 at 11:04 pm //

      What the heck are you reading. I don’t see that at all. Sounds like most fans (riders incl) are agreeing with the signing or giving their spin on why but I don’t see the insults. The biggest neg was by a bomber fan.
      Pay attention!

  15. Bombers made a good move but I’d be surprised if Jones made this type of offer to Adropuis. We are loaded at receiver unless Carter is in more trouble than I think. Need to spend our money on O and D lines. Could use Zack Evans on the inside plus a number of our own free agents.

  16. Not sure how much Adarius has left. He struggled last season when he played. Expensive compliment to Adams and Dressler. I hope he can be consistent and avoid drops . He has too many miles to regain the explosiveness he once had though.

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