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Halifax native Morley signs with Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have turned to Halifax native Steve Morley to patch their weakened offensive line.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have turned to Halifax native Steve Morley to patch their weakened offensive line.

The Blue Bombers signed the six-foot-seven, 322-pound free agent to a three-year contract yesterday, hoping he will compensate for the losses of starters Alexandre Gauthier, Dominic Picard and Kyle Koch. All three signed with other teams.

“I’m happy about it — they’ve given me an opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it,” said Morley, reached by phone at his home in Halifax. “They told me I can step right in and help out. That’s definitely what I wanted to hear.”

The 27-year-old has played the past two seasons in the CFL after spending three years in the NFL with the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

He was a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season, appearing in six games. He battled injuries and had knee surgery for a torn meniscus in December.

Morley, a two-time Vanier Cup champion with the Saint Mary’s Huskies, said his knee has already returned to 100 per cent. He has been running on it for a month and is working out at The Tower in Halifax until training camp begins in June.

He said the three-year deal was important. Although the final year is an option, it’s the longest contract he has ever had.

“It was time to do a long-term deal,” said Morley, a former No. 1 overall CFL draft pick. “It will be nice to get some stability, and I thought the best place to do it was in Winnipeg.”

Morley said the Blue Bombers showed the most interest in him and provide a “better opportunity” for his career.

Winnipeg went to the playoffs last year with an 8-10 record and lost in the Eastern semifinals. They fired head coach Doug Berry in the off-season, replacing him with Mike Kelly.

“They definitely lost some O-linemen but they have a new coach and good football philosophy,” he said. “They’re pretty gung-ho to go and I’m excited to get in there and help out.”

 
 
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