The B.C. Lions have agreed to terms with Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge, per sources.
After Mike Reilly suffered a broken wrist in Week 18 against the Edmonton Eskimos, the Lions needed a QB.
Bridge was signed by Toronto during free agency in February and played well during training camp and the pre-season – completing 13-of-20 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. But the Argos released the national QB among their final cuts.
Montreal brought Bridge in for over a month in the summer while Antonio Pipkin was hurt. The six-foot-five, 235-pound pivot was originally drafted by former Argos and Alouettes general manager Jim Popp while he was in Montreal. Bridge was selected in the fourth round, 31st overall in the 2015 CFL draft.
Bridge spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Saskatchewan after signing with the Riders in August 2016. Last year Bridge played in eight games, completing 82-of-131 passes for 804 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also rushed 25 times for 110 yards. Saskatchewan didn’t offer Bridge a contract prior to free agency.
The South Alabama product has shown intriguing potential, especially in 2017. Bridge started in Week 13 for the Riders in Hamilton and guided the team to a victory with 231 passing yards and three touchdowns. Two weeks later, he came off the bench to lead a comeback win against Toronto, finishing 20-of-28 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.
Overall that 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 rushing touchdown during the 2017 season. 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.
Bridge worked out for the New York Giants in December 2017. The 27-year-old received an invite to Dallas Cowboys rookie mini-camp after going unselected in the 2015 NFL draft, but was not offered a contract.
B.C. has two games left in the regular season, following elimination from playoff contention, against the Riders in Week 19 and Stampeders Week 21 — both match ups are at home in the BC Place dome. With an improved offensive line, playmakers such as Bryan Burnham and Jarious Jackson calling the plays, it’s a potential successful recipe for any quarterback.
Bridge has all the athletic traits to succeed at the pro level.