Two-thirds of the league had varying levels of interest in Adarius Bowman.
The Eskimos cut him loose before having to pay him a $140,000 bonus on Feb. 5, which made Bowman a free agent. That decision was made by Esks general manager Brock Sunderland even though it was very unpopular. Five teams were reported to have been in the mix, but the last one was revealed by Bowman.
“We had Saskatchewan, B.C., Calgary made some interest, Toronto, Montreal and of course Winnipeg. There was a few options,” Bowman told Bob Irving on 680 CJOB in Winnipeg on Monday.
Quietly, until now, the Stampeders checked in on Bowman.
Bowman cracked the 1,000-yard plateau three times over his six CFL seasons with Edmonton but had a down season last year, registering 45 catches for 534 yards and five TDs over 12 regular-season games before adding five receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff contests. Lots of that production would have been seen up-close by Calgary.
The six-foot-three, 215-pound Bowman had an Eskimos club-record 120 catches for a league-high 1,759 yards and nine touchdowns in 2016. He then signed a contract extension through 2018 that made him the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback at the time. Bowman reportedly earned $260,000 last season and was scheduled to make $265,000 this year on that deal. Then Bowman turned down a larger monetary offer from Saskatchewan and signed a one-year contract with Winnipeg worth around $140,000 for 2018 because it felt like home.