Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge did not receive a contract offer from the Saskatchewan Roughriders prior to signing in Toronto with the Argos.
“The Riders did not reach out to me, they did not entertain anything with me. They didn’t call my phone and I don’t know if they talked to my agent, they probably did, but I don’t think it was serious enough for my agent to tell me Sask could be a possibility,” Bridge said on CKRM The SportsCage.
“I thought they would at least have some type of communication but it’s a part of the business and I definitely understand it. I enjoyed putting on the Rider green, it was a great time, I love the fans. I just wasn’t a part of their plans and I’m fine with that. I’m happy to be a part of the Argos right now and I’m going to bring that same energy that I had in Sask over to Toronto.”
Last year, Bridge played in eight games completing 82-of-131 passes for 804 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions while rushing 25 times for 110 yards for the Riders. During the 2017 season, Bridge passed for 1,236 yards with a 66.6 completion percentage (92-of-138) and 10 touchdowns to just four interceptions while adding 20 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown on the ground. 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. The TD toss was the first by a Canadian in a post-season game since Russ Jackson in the 1969 Grey Cup.
“I don’t think my play has regressed, my situation was different. In 2017, my position came from a backup to 1B. Obviously Kevin Glenn was the 1A and I was the 1B. In 2018, I was a true No. 2, I was only going to get in if Zach [Collaros] was hurt. I was never going to go in if it was bad play from the quarterback or lack of offensive production I should say. There are a lot of other variables that can go into it,” Bridge said.
“I tried my best with everything that was thrown at me. I did whatever the coaches asked me to do, if the coaches wanted me to do this play and throw this play and throw it to this guy then I was going to do it because that’s what they were asking me. I didn’t want anyone saying I was uncoachable or Brandon is doing his own thing, I’m a person who is going to listen to the coaches, listen to the higher ups and if that’s what they want me to do, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability, even if I agree or disagree to it, I’m going to listen to the coaches because that’s what they asked for me to do.”
Bridge re-signed for one season in December 2017 with Saskatchewan and when the calendar flipped over to January, Chris Jones sent a second-round draft pick to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for Zach Collaros. Jones reworked Collaros’ contract which included $225,000 up front and $430,000 in hard money. That was significantly more than Bridge made a year ago.
“I wasn’t upset at any signing. I thought that I could’ve done more, but I wasn’t asked to do what I did in 2017. Whatever the case may be, I was used differently. My role was different from 2017 to 2018 and it was an adjustment for me and I just tried to do it to the best of my ability,” Bridge said.
“There was no frustration for me to be mad at how things went, it was just a lesson. I gained a lot of positivity I learned patience, overcoming adversity, how to react and respond as a man and leader when you’re not getting your way. It’s a matter of respecting your teammates and coaches and remaining that leader regardless of the situation.”
Bridge has reflected during the off-season and learned from the time spent in Saskatchewan. He originally went to Regina in August 2016 and saw some ups and down during his time wearing green and white.
“The main thing is to keep an even keel of emotion, just try not to get too high then try not to get too low. Mistakes are going to be made and there are going to be some high points and some low points throughout this whole process,” Bridge said.
“That’s where you grow as a person, football player and quarterback. A lot of times people could see when I was upset or if something wasn’t going right, but I just cared about the game so much. After looking back at it the best thing to do is to have an even keel, the same emotion like a straight arrow.”