Veteran quarterback Jeremiah Masoli looks completely healthy and prepared for action in 2021 — if the CFL manages to play football.
The last time anyone saw Masoli on a Canadian field was Week 7 of the 2019 season. He fell to the turf with a non-contact injury, which was later revealed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.
Hamilton’s No. 1 QB led the team to its best start since 1998 at 5-1. Masoli completed 71 per cent of his passes for 1,576 yards with nine touchdowns against seven interceptions, adding 17 carries for 79 yards and four touchdowns in parts of six games.
Masoli has been preparing for the upcoming schedule in his home state of California. Agent Fred Weinrauch posted a video on social media of Masoli warming up, going through footwork drills, and throwing a series passes while dropping back and rolling out to either side.
— Fred Weinrauch (@Proplayersagent) January 20, 2021
The 32-year-old moves without hesitation, pushing off the knee in similar ways he’d use in a game, except without defenders trying to take his head off. It’s clear his arm remains strong as Masoli completes wide-side out routes and delivers with ease going against the grain.
Currently ranked as 3DownNation‘s No. 1 pending free agent, Masoli has yet to sign a contract extension with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The market is scheduled to open at noon ET on Tuesday, February 9 — two days after the Super Bowl — with the negotiating period beginning on January 31 at noon ET.
Teams will have one week to contact players who have expiring contracts with other franchises and there could be multiple suitors for his services if the Ticats can’t get Masoli’s signature on the appropriate paperwork.
The rival Argonauts and Redblacks are playing hardball with Matt Nichols and Nick Arbuckle, respectively, perhaps with visions of potentially adding the only QB of the three to be named an East Division Most Outstanding Player.
If there had been a season in 2020, Masoli could have made $460,000. In January 2018, Masoli signed a two-year contract extension which included a $125,000 signing bonus.
Masoli threw for 5,209 yards with 28 touchdowns against 18 interceptions during his first full season as the starter in Hamilton during 2018. That came after Masoli led the league over the final 10 games of the 2017 regular season in passing yards with 3,032 alongside 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
As a respected leader in the locker room, Masoli would provide the Ticats with the best one-two quarterback situation in the league with Dane Evans. That could help Hamilton hoist the Grey Cup at home in November.
However, if Masoli doesn’t end up back in black and gold, it could lead to a major shift in the East Division, especially with the bona fide No. 1 quarterback operating at 100 percent.