Alouettes QB Vernon Adams Jr. opts out of CFL contract to explore NFL opportunities

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. has opted out of his CFL contract to pursue NFL employment.

Adams Jr. signed a three-year extension in January, which means his CFL rights are held by Montreal through the 2022 season. He collected a $20,000 roster bonus plus $165,000 signing bonus already in 2020.

The rising CFL star posted a message to Als fans on his Twitter account:

I never planned on this being the scenario that unfolded for the ’20 season. For the last several years, I have done nothing but prepare to be the starting quarterback for this franchise and this city. 

With the news of the cancellation of our entire season, I was forced to examine all options to provide for my family. After doing so, I am electing to opt out of my contract for this season in order to pursue the possibility of gaining an NFL roster spot.

I want everyone who reads this to know that I am still completely committed to this franchise and city going forward, and that should no NFL opportunity materialize this year I WILL be returning to the Als in ’21 with the exact same goal in mind: let’s build a dynasty. 

Thank you guys for understanding. All love. 

VA

General manager Danny Maciocia anointed Adams Jr. the face of the present and foreseeable future in La Belle Province. Maciocia negotiated a contract worth $415,000 in hard money for the 2020 season after he earned approximately $150,000 in 2019.

Originally Adams was scheduled to make $128,500 in hard money for the upcoming season plus a bunch of available playtime and performance-based incentives for additional cash. There are two more years on the deal where Adams Jr.’s possible take home total rises even higher for possible compensation nearing $1 million.

The former University of Oregon star produced a 10-5 win-loss record while throwing for 3,942 yards, 24 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions and rushed for 394 yards with a league-high-tying 12 majors on the ground last season. He was the East Division all-star quarterback in 2019.

Under the leadership of head coach Khari Jones and Adams Jr., Montreal made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-8 record and hosted a playoff game. The Alouettes originally acquired Adams Jr. via trade when former Montreal GM Jim Popp sent a 2017 first-round CFL draft pick to the B.C. Lions in May 2016.

The 27-year-old went unselected in the 2016 NFL draft. Adams Jr. attended Seattle and Washington’s rookie mini-camps, but did not receive a contract offer from either team. However, it’s possible with recent game film and production in the CFL, Adams Jr. could attract NFL interest.

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