February 24, 2018

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Westerman turns down Bombers

BORIS MINKEVICH / FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Jamaal Westerman</p>

BORIS MINKEVICH / FREE PRESS FILES

Jamaal Westerman

Any chance of defensive end Jamaal Westerman making a last-minute return to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is officially over.

The Free Press reported Wednesday morning that Westerman, a fan favourite in Winnipeg, who had spent the last three years with the Bombers, has committed to the Montreal Alouettes. The Alouettes made the news public later in the day, announcing they signed Westerman to a two-year deal.

Winnipeg spent weeks trying to court the non-import, reportedly offering Westerman three separate deals, with the last one close to $200,000 per season. But Westerman had made it clear to the Bombers he planned on testing free agency.

He was courted by almost all nine CFL teams, but in the end chose to reunite with his brother Jabar, who signed with the Alouettes in November. Montreal was high on Westerman from the beginning, and is reported to be paying him well above what the Bombers offered him. Mulitple reports surfaced that Westerman’s agent was asking somewhere between $240,000 and $250,000 per season.

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Any chance of defensive end Jamaal Westerman making a last-minute return to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is officially over.

The Free Press reported Wednesday morning that Westerman, a fan favourite in Winnipeg, who had spent the last three years with the Bombers, has committed to the Montreal Alouettes. The Alouettes made the news public later in the day, announcing they signed Westerman to a two-year deal.

Winnipeg spent weeks trying to court the non-import, reportedly offering Westerman three separate deals, with the last one close to $200,000 per season. But Westerman had made it clear to the Bombers he planned on testing free agency.

He was courted by almost all nine CFL teams, but in the end chose to reunite with his brother Jabar, who signed with the Alouettes in November. Montreal was high on Westerman from the beginning, and is reported to be paying him well above what the Bombers offered him. Mulitple reports surfaced that Westerman’s agent was asking somewhere between $240,000 and $250,000 per season.

"We are thrilled to have signed Jamaal, and to be able to reunite him with his brother on our defensive line. Jamaal is a disruptive force on the field who leads by example," Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said in a statement released by the team.

"Not only did we get better on defence with this move, but we also changed our ratio."

In 47 games with the Bombers, 32-year-old Westerman recorded 118 defensive tackles, 32 quarterback sacks and four forced fumbles. He was limited to 11 games in 2017 after suffering a season-ending arm injury.

In other news, former Bombers halfback T.J. Heath signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Argonauts, returning to the team that traded him to Winnipeg midway through the 2016 season.

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @jeffkhamilton

Read more by Jeff Hamilton.

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History

Updated on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7:30 AM CST: Updated

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