Reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Willie Jefferson visits Ticats

Willie Jefferson visited the Hammer over the weekend, per sources.

Jefferson and his family flew into Toronto on Friday. The Argos put the full court press on Jefferson while he was in The Six. His next stop was Hamilton as the Ticats brought the Jefferson’s down the QEW for meetings on Sunday.

Pass rusher Ja’Gared Davis recorded 13 sacks and earned an East Division all-star nod in his first year with the Ticats last season — Davis collected $187,000 in 2019. He re-signed for the 2020 season at around $230,000. Hamilton could conceivably have the funds for both Jefferson and Davis to create an elite duo off the edge and meet the current price tag for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

Jefferson posted a career-high 12 sacks, forced six fumbles and knocked down a CFL single-season record 16 passes. He added 24 tackles, five tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception. The 28-year-old was named a CFL all-star for the third straight season.

The six-foot-seven, 245-pound defensive lineman was a one man wrecking crew in the 2019 CFL championship game, recording three sacks and forcing two fumbles to help the Winnipeg Blue Bombers upset Hamilton in the Grey Cup 33-12, hoisting the big silver trophy for the first time in 29 years.

After the green and white offered him less than $175,000, Jefferson negotiated his own free agent contract because he felt the offer was below market value. He inked a one-year contract worth $210,000 with Winnipeg that included the following: a $100,000 signing bonus; $90,000 base salary; $15,000 housing; and $5,000 travel. The disruptive pass rusher performed in his first season with the Bombers.

Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton are competing for Jefferson. The offers are in hand and it’s time for a decision from the MODP.

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