All Canada CFL defensive lineman Willie Jefferson will decide his football future on Tuesday.
That’s the start date of free agency north of the border — February 11.
Free agent DE @Stmn_Willie_Bmn has narrowed his choice to @Wpg_BlueBombers, @Ticats and @TorontoArgos. Unless interest from the NFL picks up by the opening of CFL free agency on Tuesday, he intends to make a choice between those three teams that day. #CFL #Argos #Bombers #Ticats
— David William Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) February 9, 2020
There is substantial interest from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats for Jefferson and the real money offers have hit the table.
Jefferson and his family flew into Pearson International Airport on Friday. The Argos put the full court press on Jefferson while he was in The Six. His next stop was Hamilton where the Ticats scheduled a visit with Jefferson at Tim Hortons Field as he travelled down the QEW for meetings on Sunday.
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.
NFL teams have come call for Jefferson who had a great showing in front of the Dolphins’ staff in December. In fact, Miami cut it short because Jefferson displayed everything the personnel men wanted to see – walked away with a strong positive impression. That was according to 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk.
Various options have been presented to Jefferson and it’s nearing a final decision.