Kenny Lawler is back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Bombers signed the veteran American receiver to a two-year contract Tuesday, the first day of CFL free agency.
The six-foot-three, 197-pound Lawler returns to Winnipeg after spending last season with the Edmonton Elks. He had 58 catches for 894 yards and five touchdowns in 12 regular-season games.
Officially Official: @K_Law2nice is back in the 2️⃣0️⃣4️⃣
📝 » https://t.co/vJQqt2brtG#ForTheW | @canadalifeco pic.twitter.com/RxCsKdLkhY
— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) February 14, 2023
“It was just a no brainer,” said Lawler. “There’s a lot of unfinished business to do, to take care of. I believe Winnipeg fell short last year, and I believe I can come in and help get us back to where we were two years ago.
“I was coming back to Winnipeg for the love of the game. I wasn’t really coming back for the money. The money is nice, but I believe there’s something special here.”
The Bombers originally attempted to re-acquire Lawler at last year’s trade deadline before Lawler suffered a season-ending injury.
“He’s the best, in our opinion, the best receiver in the CFL,” said Bombers general manager Kyle Walters. “Our quarterback certainly was lobbying for Kenny, offensive coordinator was lobbying for Kenny, and we’re happy to have him back. He’s really good at what he does.”
Lawler appeared in 29 regular-season games with Winnipeg in 2019 and 2021, leading the team in receiving and helping the Bombers win consecutive Grey Cup championships.
Lawler was a 2016 seventh-round selection by the Seattle Seahawks following his college career at the University of California. He attended training camp with the B.C. Lions in 2018 before joining the Blue Bombers later that fall.
The Bombers already signed 15 of their 23 players on expiring contracts in the months and days leading up to free agency.
While the Bombers might still be looking for another spare part here or there, they’ve basically used up much of their salary cap space already, so there won’t be anymore big name signings this off-season.
“We’re pretty much done,” said Walters. “My talk with most of the agents are, keep me posted, always looking to add some depth, and maybe some young guys that haven’t had a good shot somewhere else. If they’re looking for a change of scenery at a minimum range price point, maybe we can add some depth. But as far as the spending, there’s not much. We’re done spending.”
The Bombers also re-signed linebacker Les Maruo to a one-year contract on Tuesday just hours before the start of free agency.
With files from Russ Hobson.
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