WINNIPEG -- While holding a news conference to officially announce the re-signing of Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters said the team will be releasing fellow quarterback Matt Nichols to give him a head start on free agency.

According to reports from TSN, Walter said he talked with Nichols about the decision Monday night with the GM adding it was a good conversation.

"He wants to find a spot where he can be the starter,” Walter said at a news conference on Tuesday. “He’s not thinking about anything else other than finding the best fit for him to have an opportunity to start.”

Walters said it was a tough decision to make.

"It was gut-wrenching. When the decision was made that we were going to prioritize Zach, that was the route, we're going to see if we can get him under contract. Matt's been nothing but a great teammate, a great friend to many in this organization."

Nichols had been the starting quarterback for the Bombers since partway through the 2015 season and has guided the team to four straight playoff appearances.

He was having another strong season last year, throwing for 15 touchdowns and only five interceptions, but he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in August.

Nichols has said he will be ready for the start of the 2020 season.

According to TSN, Toronto and Ottawa are two teams that are unsettled at starting quarterback.

-with files from TSN