Riders GM Jeremy O’Day discusses offensive line and quarterback situations on the SportsCage


Free agency in the Canadian Football League is less than a month away. Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager  and vice president of football operations, Jeremy O’Day and the rest of the Riders scouting staff are busy preparing the club for a crucial point of the offseason.

O’Day was a guest on Wednesday’s edition SportsCage with Michael Ball to give an update on the green and white.

Jerald Hawkins

The search to shore up the green and white offensive line will likely continue throughout the rest of the offseason, but the Riders general manager is excited to see one of his signings, Jerald Hawkins arrive in Saskatchewan.

Scouts from the Roughriders scouting staff have had their eye on the left tackle for a few years according to O’Day. The former LSU Tiger was drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016. Along with two stints in the Steel City, he spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints.

O’Day thinks Hawkins will bring some good traits to the offensive line.

“Just a real athletic tackle that we think will fit our league really well.”

Brett Jones

Former University of Regina Ram offensive lineman Brett Jones appeared last week on the SportsCage. While he is applying to the University of Saskatchewan to enter into med. school, the Weyburn product believes that he has unfinished business on the gridiron and is interested in returning after sitting out the 2022 season.

If Jones decides to return to the Canadian Football League, the Roughriders would have interest said, O’Day.

“We feel that he’s a great football player and would certainly help us both on and off the football field. ”


There are plenty of questions about the green and white quarterbacks, including the ones on the roster.

Mason Fine and Jake Dolegala are set to return to Saskatchewan. The Roughriders general manager wants to see the backups from last season have a chance to compete in 2023.

“Like to see more of a sample size but I think they’ve shown enough.”

O’Day credited Dolegala for being thrown into action when the Riders were battling illnesses at a couple of different points in 2022, especially when the 26-year-old was not feeling 100 per cent himself.

Saskatchewan is expected to add at least one veteran quarterback to compete for the starting position. O’Day says it may take some time before they find out who the starter will be.

“It might not be determined until we get too camp. We’re working hard on that, we’ll see how free agency treats us.”

Even with the speculation beginning to heat up with free agency almost here, the Riders will keep all of their options open.

“Certainly could be someone that someone else is not expecting,” said the general manager.

Mason Nyhus

O’Day also clarified the situation involving the University of Saskatchewan Huskies quarterback Mason Nyhus being dropped from their negotiation list earlier this month.

Late in the Canada West Football season, the Riders added Nyhus to their protected list to give the club a chance to evaluate the quarterback before offering him a contract.

An offer was extended to the 2022 Canada West MVP by the Roughriders, but after deliberation, the quarterback opted to pursue a teaching degree.

O’Day says the Regina product took some time before making his decision. He added there was a dialogue between the two sides before Nyhus made his decision.

Kian Schaffer-Baker

The Roughriders leading receiver in 2022, Kian Schaffer-Baker has been one of the busiest CFL players attending NFL workouts this offseason.

Schaffer-Baker has not received an offer yet, but just because the receiver hasn’t signed a futures contract yet, doesn’t ultimately mean he won’t get a deal according to the Riders GM.

He pointed out that former Riders defensive end Jonathon Woodard did not sign with the Kansas City Chiefs until he received a late workout with the team.

News about Schaffer-Baker departing the Roughriders is something O’Day isn’t looking forward to.

“It’s one of those emails that you really don’t want to get. “

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