Burris restructures contract with Redblacks (and what it means)

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Henry Burris has restructured his contract which now features less base salary and more play time incentives, according to CFL sources.

That helps the team in the nation’s capital save money against the cap and create insulation should Burris suffer an injury.

The Redblacks signed free agent quarterback Trevor Harris to a two-year deal in February, a contract that features a significant base salary as well as play time bonuses. The possible compensation for the two Ottawa quarterbacks is close enough that should Burris struggle to begin the 2016 season, Harris could earn starting status.

Burris enjoyed one of the best seasons of his 17-year CFL career in 2015, throwing for a league-leading 5,703 yards while guiding Ottawa to a Grey Cup appearance. However, the Oklahoma native will turn 41 in June, leading the Redblacks to pursue Harris, the 29-year-old one-time Toronto Argonaut who led the league in passing touchdowns last season with 33 while starting 16 games in place of an injured Ricky Ray.

Ottawa also brought in former Argos receivers coach Jaime Elizondo as their new offensive coordinator following the departure of Jason Maas to the Edmonton Eskimos. Elizondo has a working relationship with Harris and will likely be implementing a similar offence to the one he ran in Toronto.

How Burris will react to having Harris in Ottawa is an open question. An experienced veteran, Burris has occasionally bristled when challenged, including during his time in Calgary with an up-and-coming Drew Tate and in Hamilton when the team utilized Dan LeFevour in certain offensive packages.

“That’s what you want – competition,” a CFL source says. “Why else would you bring Trevor Harris in?”

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