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February 4, 2018

Andy Mulumba Moves On From Football

Whatever plans the Winnipeg Blue Bombers may have had for former first-round draft pick Andy Mulumba, they’ve now been scuttled.

A Bombers first-round draft pick in 2013 (second overall), Mulumba has spent parts of the last five years in the National Football League after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013 with the Green Bay Packers and then getting looks from the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams.

After appearing in 22 games over three years with the Packers through 2015, the 28-year-old defensive end resurfaced on the Bombers’ radar last fall following his release from the Rams, but has recently informed the club he is moving on from football.

 

 

The decision by Mulumba comes following a tumultuous few months in his dealings with the Bombers: He turned his attention to the CFL after his NFL options had apparently been exhausted last fall, but Mulumba’s agent made some disparaging public comments about the CFL in the media and then asked for his client to be traded when he didn’t like the team’s first contract offer.

That rankled Bombers GM Kyle Walters, who said this when asked about the status of Mulumba at his season-ending media availability last November:

“We’ve called him for two years and he had zero interest in coming to the CFL. Zero interest. This year they decide that they’ll listen, but they only want to come for one year. It really doesn’t work like that, truth be told. If you want to come up here for a couple of games this year and be a free agent after next year, here’s the offer. This is standard procedure. Do your research, this is the way it works.”

“I put an offer out on whatever the day it was and have heard nothing. Absolutely no counter offer, nothing back. The next thing I heard through the media was that they wanted to be traded or he was going to retire. I said, ‘This is your negotiating ploy? I don’t quite understand that. Why don’t you send me what you’d like?’ I’ve yet to hear a counter offer. But now Andy Mulumba (if he signs) is committed for 2018 and 2019, regardless of where he goes. His idea of signing for the remainder of ’17 and getting out of his contract for 18, which seemed to me was their top priority, is no longer an option. He’s now committed to an ’18-’19 contract if he wants to play in the CFL.”

Born in the Congo but having grown up in Montreal, Mulumba was selected second overall after starring at Eastern Michigan University, but signed instead with the Packers four days after the CFL Draft. He dressed for 14 games as a rookie, starting three, but then saw action in only eight games over the next two years following an ACL injury.

He then bounced from the Chiefs to the Raiders and the Rams, before he was released last September.

His decision does potentially impact what the Bombers might do in CFL free agency, which begins February 13th. The Bombers have started veteran Canadian Jamaal Westerman at defensive end over the last three years, but he is scheduled to become a free agent, as is another Canadian, defensive tackle Jake Thomas.

Canadian defensive linemen under contract for 2018 include end Trent Corney and tackles Faith Ekakitie and Ian Marouf.