Redblacks GM Desjardins expects contract negotiations with Harris to pick up

Now that Grey Cup week is over, negotiations between pending free agent quarterback Trevor Harris and the Redblacks are expected to pick up.

“They haven’t really progressed very far. We’re of the understanding that we’d wait until Grey Cup Week got taken care of and then we’d revisit stuff. But there’s an interest on his part to continue to be here and an interest on our part to have him here so hopefully that can come to fruition,” Ottawa general manager Marcel Desjardins said on TSN 1200 in Ottawa.

Before the 2017 season started Desjardins there were discussions on a possible extension.

“The way it was presented to me from the agent side of things is that yes they were willing to add a year, if not more, but only if that meant more money in the current year. Which I didn’t feel I could do nor did I think I needed to do in terms of we had agreed to what 2017 was going to be in terms of dollars. So yes you’re extending, but at the same time, you’re getting security by extending so it’s a two-way street. But they wanted to wait so that’s why it’s at the point it’s at now,” Desjardins explained.

Harris threw for a career-high 4,679 yards and 30 touchdowns, which tied for the league lead while getting picked off 11 times. The 31-year-old missed three games due to a shoulder injury. After returning from the setback, Harris led three late-season comeback wins to clinch a playoff spot for Ottawa. No. 7 put up 457 yards on 37-of-60 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Redblacks East semifinal loss to Saskatchewan.

This year Harris made a reported $400,000 in the starting role and with his deal expiring in February term will play a factor in any new agreement.

“The contracts are not guaranteed, first off. The tricky part becomes there’s a new collective agreement kicking in 2019, so how does that factor into the whole equation? So do we do one year? Do we do two years? That’s all part of the discussion,” Desjardins said.

“I don’t have anything set in any way. Obviously, that’s the position you want to solidify the most long-term. Last time we did two years, I’d be happy to do one at this point, I’d be happy to do two or three, it just depends.”

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