No, the Bombers shouldn’t re-sign Zach Collaros

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers added a key player ahead of this year’s playoff run, trading for veteran quarterback Zach Collaros on October 9.

The move was intended to enhance Winnipeg’s depth under centre and paid quick dividends after Chris Streveler was injured at McMahon Stadium less than two weeks later.

The 31-year-old enjoyed a solid debut for the Blue Bombers the following game, completing 22-of-28 passing for 221 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran three times for 10 yards in a 29-28 victory over the Calgary Stampeders.

The victory sparked a conversation about whether or not Collaros could be the long-term answer in Winnipeg, which is fair.

Matt Nichols isn’t under contract beyond this season and turns 33 in March. He’s fought injury problems over the past two years and his production has decreased since he threw for a career-high 4,472 yards in 2017.

Chris Streveler hasn’t done much to establish himself as Winnipeg’s future starter, either. The 24-year-old can run like the wind, but averaged 185 passing yards and 1.4 interceptions over eight starts this season. Those aren’t winning numbers.

Collaros might be the best quarterback the Blue Bombers have right now, but that doesn’t mean the club has to extend his contract.

The Ohio native has well-documented injury problems that have limited him to 60 of a possible 108 starts since 2014. Putting all of your eggs in the Collaros basket — unless you have a surprise star behind him like, say, Cody Fajardo — is unwise.

There’s also the conditions of the trade to consider.

The Blue Bombers sent a third-round pick to Toronto in exchange for Collaros and a fifth-round pick, which was a pretty fair price. The deal also included a condition that Winnipeg send the Argonauts their first-round pick in May’s draft if Collaros re-signs, which seems like far less of a bargain.

The 2020 draft class has some great players, though it isn’t particularly deep. High picks always carry a lot of value but that will be especially true in May.

If the Bombers decide to move on from Nichols and Streveler — which is far from guaranteed — free agency could also yield a new potential starter.

Jeremiah Masoli, Nick Arbuckle, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson are set to come available and have all enjoyed recent success. James Franklin and Jonathon Jennings are also expected to reach free agency as reclamation projects.

Collaros may lead the Blue Bombers to success in the post-season — he may even win the team’s first Grey Cup in 29 years — but the club should still look elsewhere at quarterback for 2020 and beyond.

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