The Hamilton Tiger-Cats traded quarterback Jake Waters to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the rights to a player on Saskatchewan’s negotiation list, which CFL sources said is former South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels.
For the Ticats, Waters’ departure is likely a sign that the team is pleased with the development of former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, who was signed by the team in late June but needs more practice time. He’ll move up to third on depth chart, at least until Zach Collaros is ready to return from his knee injury. Head coach Kent Austin said last week that Collaros was “very, very close” to practicing with the club.
Daniels, meanwhile, was drafted by San Francisco in the seventh round in 2013 and has been with three other NFL teams, mostly recently the New York Giants (who released him in mid-June.) He won a Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seawhawks in 2014 and has also spent some time as a wide receiver in the NFL. He’s an athletic guy who runs well.
As a quarterback at the University of South Florida, Daniels amassed 8,433 passing yards and threw 52 touchdowns while also rushing for 2,068 yards and 25 TDs. Daniels finished his career as USF’s career leader in passing and rushing yards and second all time in the Big East.
Given the timing of this move and that Daniels may still be pursuing NFL opportunities, I wouldn’t expect to see him in Hamilton until next season at the earliest (if we see him at all.) But by moving Waters, they create space for Collaros, provide Golson more reps and get something in return for a guy that wasn’t likely to fit into their plans.
For the Riders, Waters gives them another mobile quarterback as they search for back up depth behind starter Darian Durant. Saskatchewan has struggled in short yardage situations the last two weeks with Brian Moniz fumbling in each of the last two games and Durant getting stuffed on the final play of Friday’s loss to Edmonton. They have an immediate need, which Waters can potentially fill while Daniels is a long-term solution, at best.
The 24-year-old Waters spent time with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars last year after two excellent seasons at Kansas State where he broke the school’s career records for completion percentage (64.1), passing efficiency (155.8), total offensive yards per game (260.2) and passing yards per attempt (9.09.) In his two-year career with the Wildcats, Waters threw for 5,970 yards, 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and added 796 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns on the ground. He started his college career at Iowa Western Community College set the record for completion percentage (73.3), previously held by Cam Newton, now of the Carolina Panthers.
There’s a relatively detailed scouting report on Waters available here but it sounds like he’s ideal for the CFL: slightly undersized by NFL standards (6-foot-1) decent if unspectacular arm, good mobility with off-the-charts accuracy. Sounds like he has a little toughness in him as well.