Zach Collaros was a major factor in Winnipeg capturing a Grey Cup for the first time in 29 years and he would welcome a return tour to the Manitoba capital.
Collaros was acquired by the Blue Bombers at the trade deadline and it paid off with the veteran quarterback producing a 4-0 record, including three wins in the playoffs on the way to a CFL championship.
“It’s definitely a strong pull. It’s well documented how I feel about coach [Mike] O’Shea. It was just an amazing experience, and it really made me love the game. I’ve always loved football, but when you go through tough times and go through the situations that aren’t ideal, you start not to love going to work. But that six, seven weeks, or however long I was there, really reaffirmed my love for the game,” Collaros told Winnipeg Sun reporter Paul Friesen.
“Somehow this narrative that’s got pushed around, that no matter what happens we want to be back in Toronto – I don’t know how that got started. That’s pretty funny to me when people call me to tell me they read this or saw this somewhere. If you know me and how I am, I want to be in the best situation possible. I don’t really care where it’s at… I just want to play good football.”
Winnipeg sent their third round choice in the 2020 CFL draft to the Argos for Collaros and fifth round selection during the final seconds trades were allowed on October 9. If the Bombers re-sign Collaros, Toronto receives an additional first round pick.
“I don’t know what the discussions will be like with Winnipeg. Hopefully good ones. We’ll see. Coach O’Shea isn’t under contract, right? Once that shakes out, I’m hoping that we’ll start a conversation up,” Collaros said.
“It seems everything’s moving kind of at a slow pace. I thought there’d be more clarity on what’s going on. LaPo’s a great co-ordinator. A great play-caller and I’m sure he’ll do a really good job as a head coach. I’m excited to see how he does, too.”
Collaros has a 35-31 win-loss record while completing 65 percent of his passes for 16,979 yards and 94 touchdowns against 52 interceptions in 92 games over eight seasons. During three post-season games with the Bombers, Collaros totalled 630 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception while completing 65 percent of his attempts.
“If you ask any quarterback what one of the biggest factors is, it’s offensive line. Man, they were just amazing… it’s very comforting being behind those guys. Not only because of how talented they are. It’s just their work ethic, and you see it every day,” Collaros said.
The 31-year-old is scheduled to become a free agent in February. Collaros is a veteran with the proven ability to lead a team to the Grey Cup. There would be a number of suitors if Collaros hit the open market.
“When you break it all down, how can you play the best football?” Collaros said. “Because when you play good football, you get to keep playing. You get to play longer.”