More Sprinkles of Jesus: Riders sign quarterback Cody Fajardo to contract extension

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Electric Umbrella

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed quarterback Cody Fajardo to a contract extension, per sources.

Fajardo is now tied to the Riders through the 2022 season at a salary of $512,000 in hard money. The additional year comes after he reworked his contract in December.

Fajardo converted his $180,000 roster bonus, which was due on February 1 into a $140,000 signing bonus. That lowered his hard money total for the upcoming season to $404,000. It helped the Riders with the salary cap — saving $40,000 — and put money in Fajardo’s pocket that nets out approximately even after taxes.

If the CFL does return to play in 2021, Fajardo’s base salary checks in at $250,000 with $12,000 in housing money ($2,000 per month June to November), $2,000 travel allowance, and incentives: $2,000 West Division all-star; $3,000 CFL all-star; and $5,000 league Most Outstanding Player.

Riders originally offered Cody Fajardo a four-year contract extension

Both extensions were substantial raises on what Fajardo made in 2019. His one-year deal was a bargain, paying him $86,800 in hard money. Fajardo made nearly every possible dollar on his contract last season, which totaled around $150,000 for the starting quarterback.

The California native drew scouts’ attention from both sides of the border at the University of Nevada where he played 45 NCAA games completing 65 percent of his passes for 9,659 yards and 57 touchdowns against 29 interceptions while adding 636 carries for 3,482 yards and 44 touchdowns. He became just the second player in FBS history to reach 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing, joining Nevada alum Colin Kaepernick. 

Prior to coming to the Riders, Fajardo spent one season with the B.C. Lions and two with the Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup in 2017. He went unselected in the 2015 NFL Draft, but signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders. Following his release from that training camp, Fajardo came north of the border. 

Even though the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19, Fajardo collected his $175,000 roster bonus last February. He actually earned more money last year compared to when he put his body through an entire season in 2019.

Fajardo led the Riders to a 12-4 record, throwing for a CFL-leading 4,302 yards while completing over 71 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions. The dual-threat pivot used his legs for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 rushing attempts, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

The CFL all-star quarterback was named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Player in his first full season as a starter. Fajardo wants to win a Grey Cup and do it on prairie soil in 2022 when the Riders are scheduled to host the CFL championship.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.