Canadian Football League

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bombers make huge splash in Canadian Football League free agent market

WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made a big splash today in the CFL free agent market with the signing of linebacker Barrin Simpson.

As per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Simpson (5-11, 228, Mississippi State ’99 DOB: Oct. 1, 1977 in Starkville, Missouri) was the most sought after player in this year’s CFL free agent pool. Six of nine CFL clubs were said to be interested in acquiring his services.

“We said we were going to be aggressive in improving this football club and the signing of Barrin Simpson is proof of that,” said Bombers G.M. Brendan Taman.

“It’s no secret that we needed to improve our defence. The addition of Barrin addresses that issue and we expect he will have an immediate impact on this football team, both on the field and in the dressing room.”

Simpson said he is ecstatic to be joining the Blue & Gold after several visits to Canad Inns Stadium as a member of the opposition.

”I remember coming to Winnipeg to play in 2001 and 2002 and how tough it was coming in here to play,” he said. “Fans loved their team. It was something else.

“When it came time for me to choose a team, it really came down to my desire to be in a football city. Everybody loves football here. That was one of the greatest reasons I wanted to be here.”

Simpson is entering his sixth CFL season. He was a member of the B.C. Lions from 2001 until 2005 and was Mr. Dependable during that time, playing in 90 consecutive games for the Leos.

In 2005, Simpson collected a team-leading 71 defensive tackles, six quarterback sacks, six special teams tackles, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles, three tackles for losses and one interception for the Lions.

Simpson averaged 89 defensive tackles per season with the Lions, including a career high 115 defensive tackles in 2001. He led the CFL in defensive tackles three consecutive seasons (2001-03). He also had 18 quarterback sacks and seven interceptions during his time with the Lions.

A four-time CFL West Division All-Star and four-time CFL All-Star, Simpson was also the CFL Rookie of the Year in 2001. He was also the CFL West Division Defensive Player of the Year in ’01.

Simpson came to the CFL from Mississippi State University, where he was a two-time Southeast Conference All-Star. He started 27 of 40 games he played in with Mississippi State and collected 296 total tackles, including 104 in his sophomore year, as well as three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Simpson has enjoyed football success at every level he has played at. One of the highlights of his football career was capturing back-to-back Mississippi State Championships with Starkville High School in 1994 and ‘95.

In addition to his football career, Simpson is an ordained minister with the Church of God In Christ. He and his wife Tammie have two daughters – Atira, 2, and Avery, two months.