Cody Fajardo has been preparing for the future with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The 28-year-old franchise quarterback wants to wear green and white for the long-term while playing for fair value.
“We’re putting together a game plan of what we think is right situationally. We’re open to any form of contact from the team. There’s so much uncertainty, we gotta be able to have football first before there can be any contract talks,” Fajardo said.
“Once there is a commitment to play, and we finally know that there will be a CFL season, I can see that the talks creating some heat and start interacting more with the team.”
Fajardo would have earned $412,000 in hard money if the 2020 season was played, it was cancelled leaving him with $175,000 for the year. He is scheduled to receive $180,000 on February 1 in the form of an active roster bonus as part of his $444,000 in hard money for 2021. The CFL all-star could be a free agent following next season, but it’s clear Fajardo wants to stay in Regina.
“The scary thing about any player playing on a one-year deal is if you happen to get injured you might be out of the league,” Fajardo said.
“I would love to play my entire career for the Roughriders because I’ve had so much fun. You have a little bit of a soft spot in your heart for the first team to gave you an opportunity to go out there and start a football game.”
Head coach Craig Dickenson enjoyed a winning first season as bench boss in the CFL with Fajardo stepping into the No. 1 QB role. Saskatchewan produced a 13-5 record and earned top spot in the West Division at the end of the regular season. Dickenson wants Fajardo tied to his team for the long haul.
“As far as Cody, that’s Jeremy [O’Day’s] work. He’s certainly a guy that is our franchise quarterback and really the leader on our offence. So we’re going to try to make sure we have him signed up for the long-term,” Dickenson said.
“Jeremy and I haven’t gotten into specifics on Cody yet, but this is obviously the last year of his deal coming up. We’ll certainly want to try to address that moving ahead and make sure we have him under contract and under wraps for the long-term.”
Even though Fajardo can’t quantify what “long-term” would mean in terms of contract length, he viewed Dickenson’s sentiment as a major positive. He does realize management would have a difficult time committing to a salary number without knowing what the budget could be next year. Ideally, Fajardo wants to play his entire CFL career with one team, if the sides line up.
“I’m all for it, I would love to spend my entire career playing for the Riders because that’s good living,” Fajardo said.
“I love playing for the Riders and to hear that being echoed that they love me as their franchise guy currently, that makes me happy.”