Bombers GM Mack still working on free agent puzzle | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
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CFL.ca Staff

WINNIPEG – Under the scrutinous eyes of the entire Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan base, GM Joe Mack has been meticulously going over his many options.

With 11 of his players needing new contracts, his  off-season to-do list is a long one. It also doesn’t help that almost all of them are starters, as Deon Beasley, Marcellus Bowman, Clarence Denmark, Chris Garrett, Jonathan Hefney, Johnny Sears, Bryant Turner and Jason Vega are all on the brink of entering the free agent market.

While Feb. 15 is still two months away, Mack has been hard at work at trying to get his marquee players back in Winnipeg Blue and Gold.

“Most of our free agents are American players, and I’ve spoken to every one of them and their agents,” Mack told BlueBombers.com.

“We’d like to have them all back, and probably within the next week to 10 days I’ll circle back again and  see if we can progress with our negotiations. It’s an ongoing process, they don’t officially become free agents until February 15, so we’d like to get some of them done before then but that’s at their discretion,” he added.

Arguably the most intriguing name on the Bombers’ list of pending free agents is quarterback Justin Goltz.

Goltz threw just eight passes for 39 yards this season, but has garnered high-praise from Bombers Head Coach Tim Burke as well as Mack. In a QB situation as sticky as Winnipeg’s you can expect Mack to take a good hard look at his various options , including that of re-signing the 25-year-old pivot.

“We’re having discussions with Justin’s agent right now and I would foresee him coming back sooner rather than later,” said Mack.

“He’s intelligent and he also has one of the strongest arms out of all our quarterbacks and he’s a good athlete. He hasn’t gotten much playing time, but he has great potential, great work ethic and he’s a quality individual so we think he has a chance to compete for a higher spot  in the overall depth chart moving forward,” he added.

Goltz is just another piece to what is a confusing Blue Bombers QB puzzle. Last season, he was one of four Winnipeg quarterbacks to throw a pass, as Buck Pierce, Joey Elliott and Alex Brink all saw significant action under centre.

Elliott led the way in passing yards with 2,101, followed by Brink’s 1,391 and then Pierce’s 951. Pierce, now 31, entered the 2012 campaign as the undisputed starter, but underwent major injury trouble and only appeared in seven games.

While Pierce has displayed in the past that he’s capable of leading and succeeding as a starting quarterback, his injury history has raised several eyebrows as to whether or not he’s the quarterback of the future for the Bombers.

As a result, Mack has been keeping his eyes and ears wide open.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions about the quarterback situation but that’s still evolving,” said Mack.

“First of all, Buck and Joey were a bit banged up and we’ll probably wait  to see what our medical staff has to say in the new year. We’ll continue to have discussions and a lot will be predicated on what quarterbacks will be available.”

Still, Mack is in no rush to figure out who will be behind centre for his team in 2013.

“We’ll have to try and figure out as a staff who we want to be at mini-camp so we can continue to evaluate the quarterback situation,” he said.

“Obviously it’s paramount for us, but that can be an evolving process that probably won’t come to more clarification until maybe March of early April.”

Fan Comments
Aquileto
Mack needs to seriously consider Mike Reilly from BC for QB; he shows a lot of promise. Although I do find Pierce's fighting spirit admirable, he is just too fragile. Keep Elliot and Brink as back-ups.

I would renew all existing Bombers that we had in 2012, and look at Kackert & Taylor for WR, Willis as a DL and maybe Elimimian as a LB if they can swing it. Then we would have a team to contend with!
December 19, 2012 - 8:30am
113Bradley
Agree with your point to consider Reilly, but only at a reasonable price. He definitely has potential, but still hasn't proven anything yet. He might pan out, but he also might be another Quinton Porter. However, forget Willis and Kackert. No way that the BBs will bring back Willis, and no way that Toronto are letting Kackert get away. Taylor is no better than the WR's that we already have.
December 19, 2012 - 10:25pm
Aquileto
Yeah I don't expect much in terms of Willis or Kackert. The main reason I would consider Taylor is his run game; its true his reciving stats are much the same as the current WR's but it might add more life to the run game.
December 19, 2012 - 11:16pm
 
113Bradley
If Mack doesn't come up with a decent quarterback, none of his other moves are going to matter much.
December 17, 2012 - 11:19pm
 
ridergirl13
Breaking news: Kent Austin becomes head coach for the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Didn't see that coming. 2013 season becomes a little more interesting.
December 17, 2012 - 1:23pm
 
TheRodg44
Hefney is over rated. Goltz needs to be resigned and given a shot as a legitimate backup. Bowman and Garrett also need to come back.
December 16, 2012 - 8:18pm
 
HUGE CFL FAN
I FELL THAT HENFEY IS THE BIGGEST FREE AGGENT OUT THERE AND WOULD LOVE THE RIDERS TO SCOOP HIM UP BUT I SEE HIM ENDING UP IN A STAMPS JERSEY IF NOT THE PIG
December 14, 2012 - 6:42pm
als rule
WHAT? biggest FA? LOL LOL LOL
December 15, 2012 - 7:25pm
 
als rule
you only go as far as your canadian talent!!
December 14, 2012 - 12:27pm