Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign Briggs to one-year pact, ‘no-brainer’ for Neufeld to return

One day after another, Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters continues to whittle down his long list of free agents.

The Bombers announced Canadian linebacker and special teamer Jesse Briggs signed a one-year contract extension on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Briggs has played the last six seasons for the Bombers, mostly in a special teams capacity.

After missing only three games over the first five seasons of his CFL career, Briggs was limited to just four regular season games in the 2019 campaign due to an injury. He recorded three tackles in the regular season, and another three in their three playoff contests.

Read more: Andrew Harris renews contract with Winnipeg Blue Bombers for another year

Over his career, he’s dressed for 91 games with the Bombers, where he’s registered 20 defensive tackles, and 57 special teams tackles.

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Briggs was the Bombers’ second round draft pick in the 2014 CFL Draft.

The signing comes just a day after the Bombers announced a new deal for offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld. Neufeld was the final member of their starting offensive line to sign on for the 2021 season.

The 32-year-old took a pay cut on a one-year contract, calling it a no-brainer to return to the blue and gold.

Read more: Winnipeg Blue Bombers and QB Zach Collaros agree to restructured contract

“For me, it was a super easy decision,” Neufeld said. “It’s a place that I knew I always wanted to play and stick around with. Just what we’ve gone through, what we’ve built, and obviously what we accomplished last year.

“And seeing how many guys loved the process and loved the outcome, it was a no-brainer for me to try and work to get back to the team that I really enjoy working with and being a part of.”

Neufeld missed all but six regular season games in their Grey Cup championship season with a lingering lower-body injury that he thought might even end his football career.

“Last year there was some really dark times for me mentally going through this,” he said. “Just because I felt like I was so close to being back on the field, and then there’d be a setback or just wasn’t ready. I talked to family members being like, ‘you know this might be it.’ Like, if I can’t get back on the field, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

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“It’s adversity and it’s a part of growth and pushing through to get to that end goal that you ultimately wanted. So, I just had to pull through and I leaned on a lot of people, but it definitely worked out for the best in the end.”

Neufeld will enter his seventh season with the Bombers.

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