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Lions can make QB change without salary cap implications

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The B.C. Lions can start Jonathon Jennings or Travis Lulay at quarterback and it won’t cost the team precious salary cap dollars.

Making Lulay the starter could even save the Lions some cash.

After putting together a stellar 2016 by throwing for 5,226 yards and 27 touchdowns and leading the Lions into the playoffs, Jennings 2017 numbers were down across the board with just 3,639 passing yards as he had more interceptions (19) than touchdowns (16) in a disappointing 7-11 season on the Left coast.

Jennings restructured the final year of his existing deal for the 2018 season. Originally Jennings was due to make $295,000 in “hard money” with an available $55,000 in playtime bonus earnings.

When general manager Ed Hervey and the 25-year-old pivot agreed to a reworked pact, Jennings received a $100,000 signing bonus, $125,000 in base salary for a $225,000 “hard money” total and $40,000 in achievable playtime bonuses at 10-game ($15,000) and 14-game ($25,000) increments.

That’s a $95,000 savings for B.C. on the cap, but it’s still up from the approximately $160,000 Jennings made in 2017. Jennings called it a prove-it deal where he needed to show improvement to secure a long-term position with the Leos.

Lulay signed a one-year extension just as free agency approached in February for $175,000 “hard money” plus similar valued playtime incentives to Jennings. The 34-year-old proved he can still be productive in 2017 throwing for 1,693 passing yards 10 touchdowns against seven interceptions before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in September against Montreal.

If the shift to Lulay is made the Lions could save some money on the salary cap as the 2011 MOP and Grey Cup winner has fewer playtime bonuses in his contract than Jennings.

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Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.

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