Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge and CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie met for 30 minutes on Monday and discussed the possibility of including quarterbacks as one of the required seven national starters.
“It actually went well. We really spoke about how we can actually approach it. One of the main things he asked me was: how did we get here in the first place? Why was the rule in this favour? He wants to address that,” Bridge said.
“He said he’s going to bring it up to the CFLPA. He’s really looking forward to attacking that situation. I felt that we actually made a couple strides and laid down a couple bricks to where we want to go. I really want to lay down that first step and that first brick for the younger generation so they don’t have to jump the same barriers that I had to do. Hopefully, at some point in time, the rule changes and gives these kids a fair opportunity.”
Under the current rules, CFL rosters are made up of a minimum of 21 nationals, a maximum of 20 internationals and three quarterbacks. Each team is also required to start seven nationals among their 23 offensive and defensive starters. But because quarterbacks have their own separate category, starting a national at the position does not count towards the seven nationals.
The issue would have to be addressed with the CFLPA because the roster make up is part of the collective bargaining agreement and the union would have to sign off on any changes.
Bridge’s play on the field has brought the issue to the forefront. The 25-year-old went 92-0f-138 for 1,236 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions while leading the Riders to a pair of wins in 2017, both on the road. He sparked the Riders offence in the East Final, completing 11-of-21 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown in the team’s defeat. That TD toss was the first by a Canadian in a post-season game since Russ Jackson in the 1969 Grey Cup.
Ambrosie has been active in his first season as commissioner, acting quickly on issues such as replay. It seems like he’s willing to take the same proactive approach to changing the Canadian quarterback ratio rule.