Zach Collaros trade a win for Riders and Ticats

Seeing Zach Collaros in green is going to take a little getting used to.

But it is the reality now that the former face of the Ticats is now a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders after the two teams completed a trade that saw Collaros dealt to Regina for the No. 10 overall pick in this May’s draft.

The knee-jerk reaction is to declare a winner, and while I think the Riders obviously got the best player — no offense to whomever the Ticats take at No. 10 overall, but he will not be as good a player as Zach Collaros — we can’t sit here in January and say that one team definitely won the trade.

Both teams got something; the Riders may have acquired the player that will finally stabilize their quarterbacking position for the next seven or so years, while the Ticats got another high draft pick and shed themselves of Collaros’ albatross of a contract.

Hamilton can now use the savings they get from lopping over $500,000 off their salary cap to sign some other players. And it is no coincidence that the team announced the re-signings of two big off-season priorities, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and receiver Brandon Banks.

The Ticats also have some incredible draft capital, as they will pick second, tenth, eleventh and fifteenth in what many consider a fairly deep draft. Hamilton has the ability to upgrade its talent by having money to spend and by having so many high draft picks.

This also helps clarify Hamilton’s quarterbacking hierarchy. This is now Masoli’s team, and after the way he played in his 10 starts last year, it should be.

Jeremiah Masoli was playing at an elite level last year and the stats show it. His 3:1 TD-to-INT ratio (15 TD passes, five INTs) ranks among the league’s top passers (only Matt Nichols had a better ratio) and his 1.3 percent interception percentage was tops in the league. Those are the numbers of a guy who can start in this league and be successful. Period. No other qualifiers needed.

Masoli is not the player he was four years ago. He has evolved into an efficient, productive quarterback and one that has earned the right to start through his play on the field.

But that doesn’t mean Zach Collaros shouldn’t get a chance to prove he still has it as well, and this is where the Riders make out fairly well.

While the 10th overall pick is not nothing, it also isn’t all that much to give up to acquire a player that not that long ago was considered the best in the game. In 2015, before the knee injury, Zach Collaros was on his way to being a runaway MOP and probably getting the Ticats their elusive 15th Grey Cup title. He was shredding the league, and if the Riders get that player, no price was too high. Obviously, we don’t know if Collaros can be that player again, but if he approaches anything even close that, the Riders made out like bandits.

This deal also allows Collaros a chance for a fresh start. It is clear from his own words that he wanted to spend the rest of his career in Hamilton, but going to a new team, and one that could quite honestly compete for a Grey Cup this upcoming season, could be just what he needs to get his groove back.

This seems to be the rare deal where everybody got exactly what they needed.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith

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Josh Smith
About Josh Smith (379 Articles)
Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

53 Comments on Zach Collaros trade a win for Riders and Ticats

  1. Rider fan // January 7, 2018 at 4:59 pm //

    The deal was good for sask. Hope they can come to terms on his contract.

  2. Saskatchewan clearly won on this deal. Hamilton had better offers for Zach during the regular season

    • Hamilton sheds $500k, we won’t know if the Riders “won” the deal until we see how Collaros plays this season.
      If he plays like last season then Hamilton has clearly won

  3. Scottsask // January 7, 2018 at 5:36 pm //

    Good article Josh, couldn’t agree with you more. With a draft pick you still don’t know who you get until a year later, but Hamilton still has a qb that they’re Obviously comfortable with, and sheds a terrible contract that gives them much more freedom. The Riders fill an immediate need and a change of scenery will do Collaros much good as well. Win win all around.

    • Sea of Dead // January 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm //

      That terrible contract and a number of other stinkers were drafted by KA who in turn was given an absolutely ridiculous compensation package by has bud Mitchell that was signed off by the Caretaker after a brutal season in 2016. That’s what tends to happen when the team management hierarchy doesn’t have sufficient checks and balances built into the system to lessen the probability of such costly contractual mistakes from happening (and when ONE person holds too many titles in the chain of command).

      • Agree SoD. I know I have been critical of Collaros in my posts – but still shake my head at that contract. How do you give a guy on one leg and largely unproven that much cash? I suspect once KA has brought Johnny to town he will close his TC chapter and either go back to Ole Miss or retire.

  4. Eddie Rivers // January 7, 2018 at 5:43 pm //

    Please pardon my ignorance here in the uk but how good are the players in the draft?

    Sask may now have one of there missing pieces for 2018

    • Some play right away as starters, some take a while to develop, some take so long to develop that they are with a different team and some don’t make it.

      The other variable is how accurately the choices are rated.

      • I forgot to say some take several years to show up in the CFL as they make an NFL practice roster for a while or a team for a bit.

    • Eddie, CFL players involved in this year’s draft and previous years are not of the same calibre as U.S. born players, to be honest. There are some very serviceable players in Canadian college ranks that could play in the NFL, obviously. But there just aren’t enough. Once the top 30-40 players are gone in this year’s draft, there is a few college (university) players that raise eyebrows every year among CFL teams. This trade, talent-wise, definitely should help the Roughriders pending upon Zach Collaros’ ability to get back in that same groove he had 4-5 years ago. Collaros does have the talent if he can reach that same ability he previously had. As mentioned above, it was a win-win for both teams.

    • Or an enigma.

    • The draft is for Canadian players only and very few are good. Our best players are Americans, but with the “Canadian ratio” rules, the draft becomes important.
      Very few of the draft picks will start this season, they are backups and “specialty players”
      But a few Canadians have done well

  5. Collaros didn’t play for half the season – the ‘Austin’ publicly yelled at him on CFL broadcasts , I would think Collaros will need a lot of player patience/confidence with his new club to make him feel comfortable in his new role with Saskatchewan

    At this point , jury is always out on a qb’s health

    • He may need time to get on the same page as the Rider players, get the terminology/timing down … but that has nothing to do with yelling at or being yelled at.

      Just being in an offense that has more than a phantom run game should increase his comfort level versus repeating the same plays to hope for different results.

      • Sure…maybe we’ll give him some Pablum and hold his hand as well…unbelievable.

        • And finish it off with a rendition of “Kumbaya”.

        • Just an unbelievable as your apparent agreement with Stage that a lack of yelling / comfort is more important than mechanics/skill/performance/chemistry with receivers.

          Good that you volunteering the solution of singing to him.

    • “Yelled”? Must have missed that one. A HC alluding to the fact that his QB is UNDERACHIEVING and must be better for his team to succeed is a developmental tool…especially when he is…what is it again? Oh yeah, highest paid player in the league.

  6. Good deal for both teams is right.

    • I agree, Sask fans will say they have a “potential great QB, for Ticat fans it’s getting rid of an overpaid underperforming player

  7. eddiefelson // January 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm //

    The sooner the media stops trying to convince fans that Masoli is an elite quarterback, the sooner we can take you seriously.

    Masoli won zero important games last season.

    This team needs a quarterback that will go out and win games-not one that can barely manage one.

    yes we won 6- could have won 9….but we also could have lost 7…they were that close. Only 3 wins were decisive, 2 of those were against the worst team in the league and the other one was against a team that lost 5 of their last 7.
    Nothing to brag about here folks.

    stop trying to convince seasoned fans.

    • Give it a rest.

      • eddiefelson // January 7, 2018 at 11:23 pm //

        give what a rest? facts?…ok….the world is flat , global warming is fake, and masoli is a superstar and will easily lead the cats to a 14 win season and hoist the cup!

        • The only thing true about your statement is global warming is fake.
          CO2 emissions were supposed to create a “green house effect” and raise temps, obviously it hasn’t –

    • Agree…Masoli is not an “elite” QB…probably never will be. But neither was Hobart…or Kerrigan. The former got his team to the dance…the later walked off with the dance queen. Masoli has that innate quality to be a winner…non conventional…but a winner. My prediction is that he’ll be hoisting the GC very soon.

  8. Collaros won zero games period last season.

  9. Good article. Good analysis. Lots of things could, and undoubtedly will, happen in the future which will tip the end result one way or the other, but at this point it was an equal, win-win, trade. Hamilton got a very nice draft pick back when it looked like they might get nothing, and the Riders locked up the veteran top tier QB they’ve been needing.

  10. No 2 jonz // January 7, 2018 at 8:23 pm //

    Rider fans don’t understand the gravity of this trade. They continue to avoid and address Canadian depth. Jones has made the situation worse.

  11. No 2 jonz // January 7, 2018 at 8:24 pm //

    What if Calloros is mediocre and Hamilton gets the next Alex Singleton with the pick?

    • What if the pick is a bust and Collaros wins the GC for the Riders? Btw, one of the things that makes this a good trade for the Riders is our now solid Canadian depth, which Chris Jones rebuilt.

    • A 10th round Canadian pick??? the pick will be a backup or special teams player, it’s not about the pick or trade it’s about someone taking the $500k failing QB

      • When did you get the scoop of a 10 *round* pick?

        TSN as well as 3downnation are reporting the 10th *overall* pick … which is more like a second round pick.

    • Very good possibility.

  12. David:Think about what you posted.Zach did not play all season.The real story is Austin and his pathetic coaching record from 2016 until he threw in towel in 2017.

  13. No 2 jonz // January 7, 2018 at 8:39 pm //

    Collaros has never completed a season and has a concussion history. Anyone that think he’s going to go out and be this healthy MVP is kidding themselves. The riders should have kept the draft pick. Carter will be mad because he’ll want Collaros to just through it up and risk interceptions just so he can attempt to make that 1 in a million, highlight of the night your of catch. Bridge might play that game but Collaros won’t…..big trouble in locker room is brewing

  14. No 2 jonz. I disagree and agree. It does suck we have less draft picks. We also needed to try for an elite QB. Sure it’s a gamble. QB held us back last season. As for the Canadian draft it’s rare for players to start. All on 2 year deals. We do have Canadian depth, like other teams hope their players are better this season. We have plenty of safties, O line and young recievers. We have depth for this year, we really need Muamba back. Can’t keep everyone. We’re ok right now. That 10th pick won’t make us or break us Collaros is worth a try. Plenty of picks next year and 2 in the top 14 this year. Rob Bagg was an undrafted free agent. I’m not worried. More picks is nice though.
    There will be no trouble between Collaros and Carter if he comes back I guarantee it but you can hope and pray for it if that’s what makes you happy.

  15. I will take the draft pick. The Ticats drafted very well in 2017 and there is no reason to believe that they won’t draft as well in 2018.

  16. Greenland // January 7, 2018 at 10:07 pm //

    So No 2, which is exactly what you are. Also known as horse’s. arse. How many different ways can you exspress your hatred for the Riders. Enough already.

  17. Colour me green // January 8, 2018 at 12:56 am //

    I have concern about his health.

    • He was healthy all last year. He has had injury issues in the past, but he’s also played behind some pretty poor OLs. Our OL wasn’t great last year but we managed to keep Glenn healthy all year. That said, our OL needs to be our next priority. We have to get Campbell signed, and our best OL last year was with Labatte at C, so I think we should move him there permanently, and hopefully Bladek is ready to start and maybe JSJ will step up as well. That would also allow us to not re-sign Clark and to trade Dennis for something, which would free up some money to sign FAs.

      • Take this // January 8, 2018 at 7:56 am //

        Dennis could be a hard one to trade because he has a large contract and wasn’t playing well at left tackle last year and was moved to left guard. He was paid too much for an American guard so he could be hard to find anyone willing to take that contract over in what is often a Canadian position. It is important to sign Campbell, however, who played well at left tackle.

  18. Good to get Collaros assuming he takes a big pay cut. Even with it we are going to have to make some tougn personnel/cap decisions. Can we afford Campbell and Dennis? Carter? Grant? For example. Still lacking a big inside dlineman. Concerned about inly 4 (?) Draft picks in a deep draft. Remember how this bit us in tbe butt in 2016? Drafting has been substandard compared to previous regime. Josiah St. John? Cameron Judge? Did he retire as per his midseasin tweeks or just high????

    • I’m going to abandon this thread due to troll activity but before I go … We’re going to have to re-sign other FAs as well, and the two leading cap casualties I see are the often injured and never very good Dan Clark and Dennis. Dennis was a top OT when we signed him and he could regain that form with someone else, which is why I think we should trade him to the East. He could be traded for a conditional draft pick based on performance. As for big DTs, if you don’t follow the Riders much you might have missed it but Nick James filled that need very well before he got injured.

      If you think our drafting has been worse than Taman’s then you need to go back and have a look at his picks. He traded away way more picks to begin with, and w.r.t. the ones he did pick Jones has done at least as well or better. Jones has also acquired a lot of Canadian talent other ways, see Zver, Mrabure, Henry, Dyakowski, MAB, and Balley for a few examples. And also don’t forget about the supplemental picks of Francis and Bartlett. Cameron was injured last year and had surgery, and no he didn’t retire.

      • Take this // January 8, 2018 at 3:53 pm //

        You talk about Dennis being traded based on performance but based on his performance last year along with his big contract, trading him won’t be so easy. He was a bust at left tackle and most teams try to have a Canadian at left guard and certainly don’t want to pay an American left guard that much.

  19. RalphInTheCreek // January 8, 2018 at 6:56 am //

    Sask better protect Zach big time or he’ll be shinning the pines on a regular basis.

    • agree. Given time he was one of the best. He is one hit away from his next concussion and last year he played scared.

      • eddiefelson // January 9, 2018 at 8:39 am //

        correction-last year in your opinion he played scared.
        Fans need to learn that their opinion doesn’t make it fact.

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