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.”