Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Andrew Harris celebrates his touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. Running back Andrew Harris, who was instrumental in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ending their Grey Cup drought in 2019, tops the CFL team's list of potential free agents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Grey Cup MVP, top Canadian Harris among Winnipeg Blue Bombers potential free agents

Grey Cup MVP, top Canadian Harris among Winnipeg Blue Bombers potential free agents

TORONTO — Running back Andrew Harris, who was instrumental in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ending their Grey Cup drought in 2019, tops the CFL team’s list of potential free agents.

Harris is among 329 players listed by the CFL on Friday as being eligible to hit the open market at noon ET on Feb. 9. The 33-year-old Winnipeg native ran for 134 yards and a TD and registered five caches for 35 yards with another touchdown in leading the Bombers past the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 2019 Grey Cup game.

That earned Harris Grey Cup MVP and top Canadian honours, making him the first player to secure both awards in the same year.

Harris and the Bombers didn’t have a chance to defend their title as the CFL cancelled its plans for an abbreviated 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in August.

Harris isn’t the only top Bomber slated to his free agency. Offensive linemen Stanley Bryant and Jermarcus Hardrick are among Winnipeg’s potential 33 free agents, along with veteran kicker Justin Medlock.

The Montreal Alouettes (48) have the most potential free agents, just ahead of the Edmonton Football Club (47) and Ottawa Redblacks (45).

Hamilton has 33 players listed, including receiver Brandon Banks (CFL’s 2019 outstanding player), quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and Canadian offensive linemen Chris Van Zeyl and Mike Filer.

The Toronto Argonauts (22) have the fewest potential free agents.

The CFL also announced Friday the moratorium on clubs re-signing their players will be lifted effective noon ET on Monday.

“As we look forward to 2021 and a CFL season with optimism, we are moving to provide our clubs with the guidelines and information they need to build competitive rosters,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “While we are quite aware of the COVID-19 challenges currently facing society at large and sports in particular, we are also encouraged by the almost daily reports of progress in the development and distribution of rapid tests, treatments and, most importantly, vaccines.

“We are taking every step to be prepared to return to the field next year.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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