Brandon Bridge feels some type of way about how the Canadian Football League looked at Canadian quarterbacks.
“It’s been over 100 years of this league and they did not respect the Canadian QB,” Bridge said on The Rod Pedersen Show.
“I think I coulda left a bigger stamp — I was able to make a change. I got a lot of people around me, even Americans, saying I should push for that. Some said there might be backlash because owners and general managers might not want it, but I was urged to push for it,” Bridge said.
“If I had to be a sacrificial lamb for younger generations to get the opportunity, then it is what it is. I’m not comparing myself to Colin Kaepernick but he stood up for something and didn’t care what could happen. I didn’t want younger generations to jump the same barriers that I had to. I hope they can leave a bigger footprint than I did.”
Bridge spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Saskatchewan after signing with the Riders in August 2016. During 2018, 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.
“If the CFL gives me what I want financially, then I’ll do it but if not, I don’t see why. It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve gotta think about my lifestyle, like what’s gonna happen now moving forward?” Bridge said.
“I know my worth. I came into games, won games, and coming from a handicap of being down 17, 10 (points), whatever the case may be, and I showcased myself pretty well, I’d have to say. I feel like I have more positive games than negative games than a lot of other QBs that are on teams right now.”
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.
“I can still play football. I honestly feel like I can still compete. Personally I feel like I’d be at least the second-best option on any CFL team now at least. I actually feel that in my heart but with the police, you have benefits and pension and that’s what we all want, a salary,” Bridge said.
Overall that season, Bridge passed for 1,236 yards with a 66.6 completion percentage (92-of-138) and 10 touchdowns compared 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.
“It’s gonna go downhill, honestly. Unless we actually give each other a true chance. The Canadian QB actually is a dying breed right now because kids are going to school and saying ‘Why am I going to play QB?’” Bridge said.
“You’re going to see bad football because kids will say: ‘What’s the point of going to this school or that school?’ Everyone’s going to play offensive line or defensive line because they’ll actually get a fair chance. I think it’s going to die out soon.”