The lack of patience was a major reason for Henoc Muamba electing to turn his focus towards other franchises and cross Winnipeg off the list of potential landing spots.
“Some of the teams that did leave or were not in contention when it came down to it at the end, part of the reason was because they were impatient. To me, it really helped my decision process to be honest,” Muamba said.
“I didn’t not choose Winnipeg, they chose not to choose me.”
Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters wasn’t fond of the slow pace.
“Henoc and his agent have a track record of prolonging these things. They do their due diligence, it’s not a negative. They take their time and they will certainly look to maximize their value. That’s just their track record,” Walters said in March.
“We brought Henoc out here, showed him our organization, told him what we were about – thought it went very well. It was our understanding that they were going to have a decision within 48 hours after returning from the visit.”
Muamba was deliberately methodical in his approach to his latest stint as a free agent.
“One of the reasons why Montreal is the team I picked is because they were so patient throughout the whole process. They were really understanding of my situation, where I was at not just football-wise, career-wise, but from a holistic standpoint as far as what I was experiencing in my life. I got married last off-season, so I’m with my wife, I just got a new baby, I just got released, so they weren’t really trying to rush me,” Muamba said.
Muamba understands everyone runs and conducts their business differently.
“In order for a future relationship or a future connection or for a player to make the next team their home the player has to choose the team and the team has to choose the player too, especially for someone who is in the situation that I was in,” Muamba said.
The 29-year-old Canadian linebacker wasn’t shocked by what Walters said about the situation.
“It wasn’t a major, major letdown. To me, it was well this is what happened, so what is left on the table? So we started looking at the rest of the teams and we continued to talk about what was possible. Montreal was super patient,” Muamba said.
The Bombers selected Muamba No. 1 overall in the 2011 CFL draft. Muamba made a career-high 92 tackles earning him CFL all-star status in 2013 before he left Winnipeg for the NFL. He was invited by the Winnipeg organization to come for a visit while going through the process of finding a new team.
“A lot of times people think that I get to this point and I always wants to go see these teams and fly and take these trips, that has nothing to do with that. I don’t go to teams and say can we come for a visit? The teams say they would like for me to come,” Muamba said.
“Especially this off-season was really hard for me to even travel out of Toronto because I had my daughter. I didn’t want to spend time away from her. I don’t view it as a free trip, it’s really a business trip to me.”