Redblacks contract extension discussions with GM Marcel Desjardins ‘moving in the right direction’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks and general manager Marcel Desjardins appear to be on the same page when it comes to a contract extension.

The current deal for the only GM in franchise history runs out on December 31, 2020.

“I’ve had good conversations with (Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group CEO) Mark (Goudie). Bottom line is we’re trying to figure out what’s right – both from OSEG’s perspective and mine. We’ll see what that looks like on paper,” Desjardins told Postmedia reporter Tim Baines.

The 54-year-old graduated with a sports administration degree from Laurentian University. He was hired by the Montreal Alouettes in 1999 as assistant director of football operations and earned the assistant GM title in 2002 under Jim Popp. The Burlington native was hired as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ GM midway through the 2006 season, but he was fired following the 2007 campaign. Desjardins went back to the Als from 2008 to 2012 until he was selected as Ottawa’s GM.

He’s compiled a 44-62-2 win-loss-tie regular season record while in the nation’s capital, plus a 4-3 playoff mark which includes the 104th Grey Cup overtime victory. The Redblacks have qualified for the post-season in four of his six years as GM, but Ottawa had its worst showing in 2019 since the team’s expansion season with a 3-15 finish. With the 2020 season being cancelled, it could create uncertainty around Desjardins’ status with the Redblacks.

“The tricky part is we don’t know for sure if there will be a season next year. There probably will be, but what does that mean moving forward?” Desjardins said.

“We’re talking, we’re moving in the right direction. We just need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s – then if we get that done, get the paperwork done. I’m hoping (I’ll be back) based on the conversations we had.”