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Winnipeg Blue Bombers playing waiting game on 2 all-stars

With the clock ticking on free agency, it’s going to be a busy month for Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters.

After only inking seven of their 36 pending free agents so far, the Blue Bombers signings have grinded to a halt. The club is now in a holding pattern while awaiting decisions from their two big name free agents who’ll be commanding top dollar.

The Bombers are usually much farther ahead of the game at this point, but running back Brady Oliveira and receiver Dalton Schoen are still exploring their NFL options just about a month until the CFL’s open market begins.

Both are expected to get big raises in the CFL if they don’t sign down south and speaking from the CFL’s annual winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., Walters said it’s hard to know how much they’ll have left to spend elsewhere until they get a dollar figure hammered out with their two stars players.

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“Until you can get those guys locked up, it’s very difficult, you know, the trickle down effect of how much money is left,” said Walters. “And what you can do at the high point guys. So, it is a little bit slower this year for sure.

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“Once those higher ones get settled, whether they come back, don’t come back, lock into a dollar value and then I think the rest of it should move along fairly quickly.”

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Kyle Walters Interview – Jan. 9'

RAW: Blue Bombers Kyle Walters Interview – Jan. 9

According to Walters, Olivera hasn’t had any NFL workouts yet.

The Bombers are also expected to be in the market for a new backup quarterback as it appears one player who won’t be coming back is Dru Brown after the 26-year-old backup played in parts of three seasons in the blue and gold.

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With Zach Collaros locked in as the starter, Walters is not expecting Brown to re-sign, but it’s not over money, but just a chance for a better opportunity to earn more playing time.

“I think it’s more about where can he go and have the best opportunity to compete with the incumbent quarterback or the other guys under contract,” Walters said. “My gut tells me even if the Winnipeg Football Club could afford to match a contract, they would think long and hard about the opportunity where to go.”

Walters also said both defensive backs Evan Holm and Demerio Houston are getting some looks from NFL teams. Holm has already had workouts for two different teams, while Houston has had one workout.

After their second straight Grey Cup loss in November, head coach Mike O’Shea had said a number of players were contemplating retirement. But after Mike Miller hung up his cleats earlier in the week, Walters indicated no other players have told him of any plans to call it quits and that includes 37-year-old offensive lineman Stanley Bryant who still wants to play.

CFL free agency begins on Feb. 13.

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