Cody Fajardo never wanted to be anywhere but Saskatchewan

Cody Fajardo didn’t want to be anywhere but Saskatchewan.

The 27-year-old has become the face of the Riders’ franchise and rewarded by the green and white with a two-year contract extension, featuring a pay increase which could triple his earnings.

“We came to a fair deal. I understand that I have the rest of my life to make money, but I only have so long to play football and my whole goal is winning a championship. I want to be able to use what I can to build a team around myself,” Fajardo said.

“I never wanted to test free agent waters. I never wanted to look into playing down south. The CFL’s my league — without the CFL I wouldn’t be playing football right now. I don’t think I’d be in this league if I wasn’t a backup to start, if I had to start early in this league I might be out of this league pretty quick.”

Entering the 2019 season Fajardo had never started a professional football game. He was a backup and short yardage specialist with the Toronto Argos and B.C Lions to begin his CFL career. General manager Jeremy O’Day and head coach Craig Dickenson both saw the potential in Fajardo.

“He’s proven that he’s not only a capable starter in this league, he’s a winning starter. That’s the important thing, you want to sign guys that help you win and he’s done that,” Craig Dickenson said.

“He’s shown that he’s a guy you can build a team around. You want to make sure to lock up a guy you feel strongly about.”

As Saskatchewan’s starter, Fajardo has an 11-4 record. He’s thrown for 3,873 yards while completing over 71 per cent of his passes with 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions. The dual-threat QB has used his legs for 610 yards and 10 touchdowns on 106 rushing attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

“This is the place I wanted to be. I didn’t want to test the XFL waters. I didn’t want to go back to the states. The CFL’s my league, I think it fits my strengths, my weaknesses, and the only reason I’m still playing football is because of the CFL. It’d be wrong for me to go out and try something else because the CFL has stuck with me — a lot of GM’s and coaches have stuck with me threw the tough times. ” Fajardo said.

“For me I felt it was right to continue to play in the CFL. For me I wanted to be in a place that I was wanted, not that I was liked. Sometimes when you test free agency you’re liked as opposed to wanted. Here I felt really wanted.”

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