Another day, another Winnipeg Blue Bombers contract extension.
The club announced Wednesday that cornerback Winston Rose — scheduled to become a free agent in February — is coming back for another year in Winnipeg.
𝑘𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑎 🌹
The club has signed @ROSE25x4 to a one-year contract.
📝 » https://t.co/QVaRHXn2UG#ForTheW | @canadalifeco pic.twitter.com/Rnd86C4nj0
— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) December 14, 2022
Rose started 17 regular season games in 2022 and finished second on the team with 66 tackles, while also making three interceptions, including one for a touchdown. He recorded another pick in the Western Final.
“I didn’t want to test free agency or anything to see what was out there,” said Rose. “I already knew where home was.
“I didn’t want to go nowhere else. I didn’t want to test free agency. I want to finish what we started. Just how the last game played out, I just feel like we can run it back.”
And the loss in the 109th Grey Cup game has only made him more determined.
“It definitely still stings,” Rose said. “Definitely still in my mind, still leaving a bad taste in my mouth.”
The 29-year-old Californian originally signed with the Bombers in 2019 after stints with Ottawa and B.C. He led the CFL in interceptions that season and was named a league all-star.
Rose’s success in the Canadian league attracted NFL attention, which earned him a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. He suited up for two regular-season NFL games before returning to Winnipeg in October 2021, memorably contributing to the Grey Cup championship-winning interception in that year’s final.
But Rose admits he wasn’t at his best at the start of the 2022 season.
“It started off slow, but ended off strong,” he said. “Wish it ended off with the Grey Cup in my hands, but everything happens for a reason.
“The first half of the season – it wasn’t my game. Towards the end of the season, started making plays, making more plays than plays were being made against me, simple as that. It was black and white. It was just plain and simple. Plays were made against me. I wasn’t making plays. Got down to more focus and just made more plays.”
He suffered a foot injury in the Grey Cup game but said it’s feeling much better now and the recovery time was shorter than expected.
Rose spends his winters in Los Angeles where he’ll be training with former Bombers receiver Kenny Lawler in preparation for the next training camp.
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