We're at that sad point in the year where there is no more football until June (well May this year)... not even NFL football. So I guess we will talk everyone's favourite topic around these parts: QBs. By the way if you are wondering if I am on crack regarding the no football thing, I'm a vikings fan so I've successfully repressed everything that happened since the Minnesota Miracle. As near as I recall the NFL season ended on January 14th and not a single game was played thereafter. I cheer for a lot of teams that require repressing memories. It's one of the many reasons me and JP Wisers get along so well.
Onto the QBs...
Between Collaros' contract, Bridge's tweet, Durant signing in Winnipeg and Glenn's tweet, QBs were a hot topic this past week. I could some up my analysis of it all with: so what, who cares, that was widely expected and who cares again but I guess since you went through all the effort of clicking on this post, I could put a bit more effort into typing it. Effort is against my policy and lifelong plan of a helper monkey stenographer but what the heck, for you... I'll give it a whirl.
I really don't get why some people have a problem with the Collaros contract (aside from Bridge but more on him later). Yes, we are paying him like a top QB and that is for the simple reason that he IS a top QB. I'll admit I'm highly biased here as I am all in on the Collaros bandwagon but here are the facts once again on him:
- career TD/INT ratio of 83/38
- led a team to a Grey Cup appearance
- had an MOP calibre season
- under the age of 30
For a franchise with such a terrible track record overall when it comes to QBs (at least in the last 20+ years) we should be thanking our lucky stars we have him. And guess what, there are no top tier QBs out there willing to work for a major discount.
Is there risk with Collaros? You bet. He's had a rough 1+ seasons but its not like he suddenly forgot how to play. And its not like he relies on his legs and is at risk of losing the best part of his game. Chris Jones' job is to find guys who give us the best odds of winning. And objectively ask yourself, who gives the Riders the best chance of winning in 2018? If you are saying Bridge you are not being objective and are being swayed by the fairytale desire to see him succeed.
Look I have nothing against Bridge (minus everything up until this year when I thought he was overrated, but again I repress a lot). But he has not yet cemented himself as a top tier QB. Could he? Maybe. But if you have an unscratched lotto ticket and someone offers you $2000 grand for it do you keep the ticket on the off chance it wins you $250,000? Or do you take the sure thing?
So boo hoo to everyone lamenting that there is now no competition for #1. Collaros was our #1 was the second we acquired him. Bridge could still beat him out in camp but that's highly unlikely. Not because we have a hate on for Bridge but because we just got ourselves a new stud QB. If Bridge gets called on this season then I have faith in him but he only gets called on if Collaros gets hurt or falters mightily. I'm OK with that scenario and so should everyone else.
Roy Finch (Cal) – workout with Baltimore
Travon Van (Edm) – workout with Baltimore
DeVier Posey (Tor) – workout with Baltimore
Ja’Gared Davis (Cal) – workout with Baltimore
Jeff Knox (Ssk) – workout with Baltimore
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DB TJ Lee, OL Antonio Johnson, WR Shaquille Johnson (contract extension), QB Jonathan Jennings (contract restructured), RB Brandon Rutley (trade with Montreal)
In: WR Derel Walker, K Hugh O’Neil (contract extension), Kevin Glenn (free agent)
In: CB Chris Randle (contract extension), QB Darian Durant, QB Josh Straughan, QB Philip Nelson, DL Sam Montgomery, DL Chris Casher, DB Zavian Bingman, WR Gerry Brown, RB Zach Bauman (free agent signing)
In: RB William Powell, RB Mossis Madu (contract extension), RB Ed Ilnicki (2017 draft pick signing), DB JR Nelson (free agent signing)
Out: LB Ron Omara (released)
In: WR Armanti Edwards (contract extension), DB Caleb Ham, RB Ben Malena, WR Jonathan Epps, WR Cole Watson, DL Jeff Luc, DL Sadat Sulley (free agent signing)
In: DB Chris Ackie, DB Michael Carter (contract extension)
Out: QB Darian Durant, WR Sam Guiguere (released), RB Brandon Rutley (trade with BC)
I must admit I DO have a problem with the Collaros contract but it impacts the future more than the present. First of all, for many reasons, Collaros is #1 & that's good. I think he will make a big impact. Secondly, Jones was in a situation where he had to give Collaros essentially what he wanted. With a 225K signing bonus & favourable tax considerations, Collaros nets about the same as his old contract & the Riders save some money. But Collaros could call the shot. He could wait till Feb 1 & Jones either paid the bonus, unlikely, or releases him & then gets into a bidding war with Mtl, in which case he likely pays 430K or more because the Als would if he didn't. The problem comes in with the length. One hold up was the Riders wanted a 2 year deal. Now you have BOTH Collaros & Bridge coming due next year. Furthermore complicating things is Bridge's contract, heavy on incentives, which, should he play & earn some of them, bumps your 2 QB's into the high 700-800K range. Jones was a one QB guy in Edm. Franklin only played when Nichols, choice 2, didn't pan out. When Reilly came back, even on one leg, he played. So I expect he'll ride Collaros with Bridge maybe picking up garbage time. So Bridge's development is stunted, he isn't happy because there is NO competition & he knows it. If Collaros succeeds, he'll want big $$. If Franklin doesn't succeed (I think he is the real deal) & Ray is retired, how likely is it Argos won't be in the bidding for Collaros next year. Collaros' girlfriend works & lives in the area & he has always said he wants to stay there. The bidding will be high even without Argos in the picture. As for Bridge, after signing for a chance to compete for the starter, is he going to buy the same line for another year? He's not getting any younger. Very unlikely if Collaros goes that Jones won't be looking for another #1 not named Bridge. So the one year deals are very problematic down the road. What is desperately needed is guaranteed contracts for the sake of the league, fans & players. Right now, why sign for more than one year. If you sign for, say, 3 years you take a lesser salary for the security. What security? Ask Durant about that. So we will see more contracts like Collaros which means more movement every year, fans not connecting with players as they don't stay long & waning interest after a time in the CFL. The new CBA has to have a guaranteed contract for players with buyouts which count against the CAP if triggered. You think you can build loyalty with players who come to a club & sign for a year? Rider fans are naiive enough to believe it but I'm not. Collaros may love Saskatchewan after one year but I'm guessing he loves his girlfriend more & she may want him closer to home. Toronto girls don't always want to go to Regina.
With the new CBA and a ton of guys not signing beyond this season it could be a very interesting offseason next year but many teams will be in the same boat. So I'll worry about all the potential scenarios of next year next year.
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