The way Brendan Taman sees it, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have now landed four players in the deal that sent quarterback Khari Jones to Calgary.
Wide receiver/kick returner Wane McGarity will become an official member of the local CFL club today, Taman confirmed yesterday.
"Without that trade, McGarity wouldn't be here," the Bomber GM said. "Familiarity was the key."
Joe Fleming, Scott Regimbald and Wes Lysack, who were acquired in that deal, all worked on luring McGarity to Winnipeg.
"They've got a bunch of my former teammates there and that was pretty instrumental for me," McGarity said from Texas. "(Bomber head coach Jim Daley) was in Calgary the first couple of years I was there and the guys just loved him.
"This is a great opportunity for me and it's going to be fun. I hope to be the missing piece for them."
Although speculation is that the San Antonio, Texas native signed for $85,000-$95,000 per annum, Taman declined to disclose the amount.
The 5-foot-8, 192-pound import caught 47 passes 599 yards and three touchdowns on a shoddy Stampeder offence last season. McGarity also returned 41 punts for 360 yards and 27 kickoffs for 583.
"I like to consider myself that (big-play guy)," said McGarity, 28. "The most important thing is that I can make things happen and, like (Bomber kick returner) Keith Stokes, can make momentum swing."
A West Division all-star in 2003, McGarity was happy to leave Cowtown behind and to start fresh with a new team so quickly.
"In my eyes, I just wanted to get it over with and get it done," he said.
"I'm happier than hell to get a guy under contract," Taman said. "If we had waited a little longer, the way the market was going, he could have been gone quick. This was big for us and that is very gratifying."
Taman will now turn his attention to pursuing offensive linemen and defensive backs. On the O-line side, Taman made Sherko Haji-Rasouli (Montreal) an offer yesterday and contacted the agent representing Chris Burns (Ottawa). Although the Bombers are also interested in Mike Abou-Mechrek (Ottawa), Taman believes he prefers to remain in the east. Although Kelly Malveaux (Montreal) remains atop of Winnipeg's DB list, the Bombers have been unable to contact him thus far. Clifford Ivory (Toronto) is also on that list.
END OF THE LINE? One of the most popular Winnipeg Blue Bombers in recent years may be convinced to finally call it a career.
Veteran offensive lineman Moe Elewonibi, 39, will meet with Bomber GM Brendan Taman today to discuss his status with the club.
"You could say his future is in jeopardy due to economic factors," Taman said yesterday. "We are having discussions with Moe about his future."
Should the Bombers convince Elewonibi to retire, they would be left without a centre as Cory Annett is a free agent. However, Matt Sheridan has played some centre and the Bombers are hotly pursuing free agent O-linemen.