“He’s a team guy”: QB Trevor Harris restructures contract with the Roughriders

Last year Quarterback Trevor Harris was the big free agent signing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and this year he wants to help the team in free agency.

On Tuesday, General Manager Jeremy O’Day confirmed that Harris agreed to restructure his contract for the upcoming season, freeing up some cap space for the Roughriders.

Harris signed a two-year deal with the Roughriders last February.

QBs Mason Fine (#8) and Trevor Harris (#7)

O’Day spoke to the media during the CFL Winter Meetings in Nashville as a part of the American Football Coaches Association Convention.

“He’s a team guy,” said O’Day. “He was willing to help the team out.”

The length of the deal with Harris remains unchanged, according to the General Manager.

O’Day explained that when they signed Harris to his contract last year, they believed he could bring value to the organization, and that remains the case this year.

“With Trevor’s history of success and his experience in our league, we obviously wanted him back, just as we did last year.”

The 2023 season came to an early end for Harris when he suffered a knee injury in July, which kept him out for the remainder of the year.

Before the injury, the Waldo, Ohio, product had 1,274 passing yards with 6 touchdowns and four interceptions in five games of action. The Roughriders also jumped out to a 3-1 start.

Just before Christmas, O’Day revealed that Harris had informed the team about his ability to line up behind the centre. Given the serious training regimen the 37-year-old usually undergoes, the General Manager is confident that Harris will be fully prepared for the upcoming training camp in the spring.

Even with Harris entrenched as the Roughriders starting quarterback, O’Day said the organization has spent this offseason evaluating a backup quarterback and a possible succession plan.

While the team hopes to avoid using multiple quarterbacks like in 2023, they must be prepared for any scenario.

“We’re evaluating that, do we have a guy that’s in house, are there guys that are potentially free agents that could be franchise guys, those are the things that we’re going through now.”

Two possible candidates that could supply depth at quarterback for the Roughriders are Jake Dolegala and Mason Fine. Both players will become free agents next month. O’Day says the organization says the discussions with Head Coach Corey Mace and offensive coordinator Marc Mueller about the quarterback depth are ongoing.

Fine started four games with Saskatchewan after the injury to Harris. The North Texas product suffered a hamstring injury leading to Dolegala taking over as the starter.

The Central Connecticut product ended the 2023 campaign as the Roughriders starting quarterback for the final nine games.

During that time, Dolegala had 2,437 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions.

One player who will likely garner interest in free agency next month is Dru Brown. The quarterback has spent the past three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. On Tuesday, Blue Bombers General Manager Kyle Walters said he anticipates that Brown will depart to pursue a starting opportunity with Zach Collaros returning as the team’s starter.

O’Day did not comment on Brown’s status as he is still under contract with Winnipeg for another month. However, he believes it would be advantageous to have a starting quarterback ready to take over after Harris.

“You like to have the succession plan in place.” He added, “hopefully Trevor has a great year, and we can talk about that at the end of the season, but we have to prepare for the future.”

Currently, the Roughriders only have two quarterbacks under contract: Harris and Antonio Pipkin.

CFL free agency begins on February 13.

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