The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are giving Jordan Matechuk a second chance.
The CFL club signed the linebacker/long-snapper, along with veteran offensive lineman Steve Morley on Tuesday. The re-signing of Morley wasn't surprising given the 30-year-old Halifax native was a starter last season and helped the Bombers reach the Grey Cup.
But the addition of Matechuk certainly raised eyebrows. The 26-year-old Yorkton, Sask., native was sentenced to 90 days in jail last year after pleading guilty in July to possession of steroids.
Matechuk, then a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, was arrested in late May at the Canadian-American border in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., en route to the team's training camp. He was found to be in possession of steroids and marijuana and was released by the Ticats shortly afterwards.
``We are signing Jordan based on his football talent and because we feel that he can improve the depth on our roster,'' Bombers general manager Joe Mack said in a statement. ``Whatever Jordan has gone through in the past in his personal life doesn't affect our decision to bring him in.
``We feel everyone deserves a second chance and Jordan has demonstrated professionalism and honesty throughout this entire process. We're very excited to have him in our training camp and we look forward to seeing what he can do for our team.''
Winnipeg signed the six-foot-seven, 306-pound Morley a day before he was scheduled to become a free agent. The club also announced Markus Howell will be retained on head coach Paul LaPolice's staff in 2012 as the team's receivers coach.
Howell spent last season as the Bombers' defensive and special-teams assistant before taking over as linebackers coach after the sudden death of defensive line coach Richard Harris last July.
Howell spent 11 years in the CFL as a receiver, defensive back and kick-returner with Ottawa Winnipeg and Calgary. He recorded 151 catches for 2,062 yards and nine TDs, 28 defensive tackles and 21 more on special teams while accumulating 3,911 return yards.