Bombers sign OL Kolankowski, leaving status of Couture unclear

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Grey Cup champions have bolstered their offensive line ahead of free agency.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed free agent offensive lineman Chris Kolankowski on Thursday. The 27-year-old was out of football in 2019, though he spent the three prior seasons with the Toronto Argonauts.

The six-foot, 295-pound blocker is primarily a centre, though he is capable of filling in at guard. He provides the club with depth behind incumbent postseason starters Patrick Neufeld, Drew Desjarlais, and Cody Speller.

The signing leaves the status of pending free agent centre Michael Couture up in the air. The Simon Fraser product started all 18 regular season games in 2019 but was injured prior to the start of the playoffs.

There has been speculation that the native of Burnaby, British Columbia might want to play for his hometown Lions. B.C. needs help along the offensive line and lacks depth at the centre position, making Couture the perfect fit for their club.

The 27-year-old made approximately $130,000 in 2019 as Winnipeg’s starting centre and performed well, helping pave the way for the league’s top rushing attack.

Couture is the second-ranked pending national free agent offensive lineman in our 3DownNation rankings.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.