Former NFL star Cam Meredith taking ‘aggressive approach’ to making Blue Bombers roster

Screenshot courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made a big splash on Canada Day when they announced former NFL receiver Cam Meredith had agreed to terms on a contract.

The 28-year-old had a standout season in 2016 when he led the Chicago Bears with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns, beating out big-name targets such as Alshon Jeffrey and Kevin White.

Meredith is excited to be in training camp with the Blue Bombers as he looks to get his professional career back on track.

“Honestly, to be out there playing again — I can’t ask for much more regardless of where it is,” said Meredith in a videoconference. “My body feels good. It’s been a long process just to get the confidence to be able to go out there and play professional again at the elite level that I’m capable of playing at. I put a lot of work in throughout the off-season.”

Meredith tore his ACL and other knee ligaments during the preseason with Chicago in 2017, which put his career on hold. He signed a two-year, $9.5 million USD contract with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 but dressed for just six games as he continued to work back from the injury. He was cut the following year after it was clear that he wasn’t fully healthy.

“I have an aggressive approach going into this thing, picking up where I left off,” said Meredith. “I put the work in and I’m just going in trusting myself, trusting my body, and laying it all out there and whatever comes from it, that’s what’s meant to be. I’m going to give it 110 percent, 100,000 percent — foot to the pedal.”

Meredith has watched CFL games in the past and has already started studying the waggle as a tool to get open north of the border.

“Being in America, watching a little bit of CFL football on ESPN or wherever it may play, I saw the little nuances of the game. It’s not completely foreign, so that’s a good thing for me to kind of get a jumpstart on the game and get going,” he said.

“Getting defenders off their feet, getting them off the line that they want to stand on. I think it’s all part of the game that we really don’t get to use as much in the NFL where I came from, so I’m excited to get to use this an advantage.”

Meredith’s girlfriend is Canadian and has actually been to Winnipeg before as a tourist, having skated at the Forks.

Winnipeg has 21 receivers in training camp in what is a clear attempt to uncover new talent at the position. The club made an unsuccessful pitch to star B.C. receiver Bryan Burnham this off-season before signing former Edmonton standout Bryant Mitchell the following week. Mitchell retired just six weeks later, which left the Bombers’ receiving corps without a marquee addition.

Meredith could be the missing ingredient for a team that is looking to surround quarterback Zach Collaros with as many weapons as possible heading into the 2021 season.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.