The Winnipeg Blue Bombers restructured the contract of franchise quarterback Zach Collaros, bringing his cap hit down for the 2021 season.
As per 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk, Collaros will now earn $410,000 in hard money this season with $180,000 coming in the form of a signing bonus. He was originally set to make $450,000 plus potential playtime incentives which could have totaled $50,000.
Renegotiating his contract was something the quarterback was happy to do, and the negotiations were never contentious.
“With the situation that we find ourselves in, I thought it was an easy decision,” Collaros said on a conference call. “I’m still making really good money in the grand scheme of things. I don’t say that to be arrogant, I say that to show some perspective on the situation that we’re in as a country, as a continent and the world in general right now.”
The 32-year-old won his first Grey Cup as a starter with Winnipeg in 2019 after joining the team in a late-season trade with Toronto. Wanting to recreate that success with the same supporting cast was a major factor in Collaros’ willingness to restructure his deal.
“I really believe in continuity and having the coaching staff back, being able to work with (offensive coordinator) Buck (Pierce) is really something I’m looking forward to,” said Collaros.
“Obviously, having the majority of our guys back is something that we’ve all talked about throughout the entire extended off-season and we all want to make it work to get back there.”
Collaros started the Blue Bombers’ regular season finale against Calgary, completing 22-of-28 pass attempts for 221 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He then started all three postseason games en route to a championship, throwing for 630 yards and two scores.
The passer has fought through a number of injuries through his eight-year CFL career, including a torn ACL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2015.
He believes the cancellation of the 2020 season could benefit some veteran players looking for more rest, though he laments losing a season due to COVID-19.
“I think there’s definitely some pros to being able to rest your body,” said Collaros. “With the profession that we’re in, there’s not a lot of years where you can play at a high level. Losing a year is tough for everybody and we’re hoping not to lose two.”
The Blue Bombers have already re-signed a number of offensive starters, including receiver Nic Demski and tackles Stanley Bryant and Jermarcus Hardrick. Some key remaining pending free agents include guard Patrick Neufeld, receiver Kenny Lawler, and star running back Andrew Harris.