Blue Bombers acquire QB Drew Willy from Roughriders

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have acquired quarterback Drew Willy from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have acquired quarterback Drew Willy from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Bombers announced Thursday that Willy was acquired in exchange for non-import wide receiver Jade Etienne.

Willy was scheduled to become a free agent next week but has signed an extension with the Bombers, the CFL club announced. Officials did not disclose details of the agreement.

The move comes after Winnipeg lost out to the Ottawa Redblacks for the services of veteran free-agent Henry Burris.

Willy, a 27-year-old from New Jersey, had been the Roughriders' backup quarterback to incumbent Darian Durant for the past two CFL seasons.

Willy doesn't have a lot of experience with a 2-2 record in his two seasons with the Roughriders. He joins Max Hall and Justin Goltz to compete for the Winnipeg starter's job.

The six-foot-three, 215-pound Willy was 32-of-52 passing last season for 474 yards and four touchdowns.

Bombers fans may remember Willy from his come-from-behind win against Winnipeg in the 2012 Banjo Bowl, when he completed 17 of his 23 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another. It was his first CFL victory.

"Drew is a quarterback we have always thought had very high potential in this league," Bombers general manager Kyle Walters stated in a news release Thursday.

"He immediately upgrades us at this position, and we really look forward to him being a part of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moving forward."

Willy said he's "really excited" to join the Blue Bombers, noting the support the team gets in Manitoba.

"With such a deep history, the fans, the new stadium, and the direction the team wants to go, it’s going to be a great place to play," he said in the news release.

"The people within the organization have shown genuine interest in me, and as a player, you can’t ask for anything more."

Before joining the Roughriders, Willy spent time in NFL practice squads in Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Diego, and with the New York Jets.

With files from The Canadian Press