The Saskatchewan Roughriders will start quarterback Zach Collaros in their season-opener against the Toronto Argonauts, per sources.
Collaros gets the nod over Canadian Brandon Bridge. Head coach Chris Jones had said it was an open competition for the job and declined to name a starter after the team acquired Collaros via trade in January, throughout training camp and after the final pre-season game.
Just based on simple economics Collaros was the heavy favourite to be the starter from the get-go. He was paid $225,000 upfront upon agreeing to a reworked deal worth $430,000 in hard money on the last year of his contract. Collaros does not have any playtime incentives. Meanwhile, Bridge re-signed with the Riders for one year in December and received a $40,000 signing bonus included in the $150,000 in hard money. The Candian signal caller can earn over $110,000 more in playtime and performance bonuses.
Even though the Riders have much more invested in Collaros, Jones insisted it was an open competition at quarterback. Through training camp, it seemed to be close by most accounts. Neither Collaros or Bridge played in Saskatchewan’s first pre-season game, but the plan was for each to get two quarters in the second pre-season outing.
That went awry when the offensive line protection broke down against Calgary. Collaros went 6-of-16 for 41 yards and the Stamps knocked him around. Bridge played nine snaps completing 2-of-5 passes for 21 yards while also taking a couple shots. Jones had said the two would split time the entire way but concerns over protection led him to remove both from the game.
It will be Collaros beginning his Riders career as the starting quarterback.