Riders finalize contract with Jason Maas as Saskatchewan’s offensive coordinator

The Riders have finalized a deal with Jason Maas to be their offensive coordinator, per sources.

It’s a multi-year agreement between Saskatchewan and Maas which runs through the end of the 2021 season.

Maas travelled to Regina Wednesday, spent the night and had meetings Thursday at Mosaic Stadium. He had been interviewing for Saskatchewan’s offensive coordinator job. Maas would want to bring people from his staff in Edmonton, including offensive line coach Mike Gibson.

Maas was let go by Edmonton after the Eskimos lost in the Eastern Final. He was hired for his first head coach job in Edmonton by Ed Hervey in December 2015. The Esks reached division finals in three of the four seasons the 43-year-old was head coach. Since a 12-6 record in 2017 Edmonton’s record went the other way, 9-9 in 2018 while missing the playoffs and 8-10 secured a crossover playoff spot during 2019.

Maas produced a 39-33 win-loss record in the West Division plus a 3-3 post-season mark. Inside Edmonton’s locker room, the players backed Maas and played hard all the way through his tenure. The leaders supported Maas, whose contract ran until the end of the 2020 season, wholeheartedly. But GM Brock Sunderland decided to relieve Maas of his duties.

That put Maas on the open coaching market. Maas was the offensive coordinator with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2015 while new B.C. Lions head coach Rick Campbell was there. Stephen McAdoo has interviewed with the Ottawa Redblacks for their vacant head coach job, but he doesn’t have a contract with the Riders beyond 2019.

Ottawa led the league in offensive yards and passing yards during Maas’ only season as a play caller in the nation’s capital. He helped quarterback Henry Burris win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award that year as Smilin’ Hank threw for a career-best 5,693 yards. The Redblacks had four 1000-yard receivers: Chris Williams, Greg Ellingson, Ernest Jackson and Brad Sinopoli. 

Prior to joining Ottawa, Maas was the quarterbacks coach for three seasons in Toronto from 2012-2014. He was part of the 100th Grey Cup-winning coaching staff with the Argos when Ricky Ray led the double blue to a championship against Calgary. Maas won two Grey Cups (2003 and 2005) as a quarterback with the Eskimos during an 11-year playing career.

Cody Fajardo and Maas would join forces in Saskatchewan. He led the Riders to a 12-4 record throwing for 4,302 yards while completing over 71 per cent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions in his first season as a No. 1 QB. The dual-threat pivot used his legs for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 rushing attempts, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Fajardo signed a lucrative two-year contract extension as the face of the franchise worth over $400,000 per season.

Head coach Craig Dickenson wanted Maas to leave Regina with a signed contract in hand.

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