Free agency season is all but over for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
They agreed to terms on Friday with their last two free agents — Canadian centre Obby Khan and import middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn, who both spent three days on the market but have opted to return to the Blue and Gold.
Neither contract was official as of Friday night. Making Khan’s situation tough was the fact he is in Pakistan on a family vacation.
Khan, the longest-serving member of the Bomber offensive line, said all along that he wanted to remain in Winnipeg, and the two sides obviously bridged the gap in talks. The 30-year-old wanted more guaranteed money, while the Bombers were offering an incentive-laden deal.
Sportsnet reported that Khan will earn $130,000 per year, including a signing bonus. Khan said via e-mail on Friday that he had received an offer from another team, believed to be the B.C. Lions.
Lobendahn’s agent, Mark Maren, said earlier this week it was unlikely the 28-year-old Honolulu native would be back in the Manitoba capital since three other teams were inquiring about his services.
It turned out there wasn’t much interest, however, and a source said the Bombers trimmed some money off their original offer when Lobendahn came back to talk contract.
He didn’t have much leverage, though, and after a bit of a stalemate early on they made significant progress quickly and reached a deal.
Before free agency began, Bomber GM Joe Mack said he wanted Lobendahn back.
“He’s a good leader,” Mack said. “He’s a little banged up at times, but sure, we’re happy with the play he produced.”
Mack is also high on Rico McCoy, who joined the Bombers late last season and will battle Lobendahn for the starting job.