2021 CFL free agent rankings: quarterbacks

It’s officially February, which means it’s time to start looking at how pending free agents will be viewed if they hit the open market.

3DownNation will be ranking all the top pending free agents by position and nationality over the next eight days. After that we will produce a big board featuring the top 25 free agents from across the league.

We will start with the game’s most important position — quarterbacks. Check back tomorrow for our ranking of running backs and fullbacks.

Americans

1) McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Toronto Argonauts (opt out)

The 32-year-old flew under the radar with the Argonauts in 2019 but was the only CFL quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards and over 25 touchdowns.

Bethel-Thompson opted out of his CFL contract in August and has since played in the Spring League while awaiting a possible NFL opportunity. Toronto will hold his exclusive negotiating rights until February 9 at noon ET if he opts back into his deal.

2) Antonio Pipkin, Edmonton Football Team

This may seem like a lifetime ago, but the Week 1 starter for the Montreal Alouettes in 2019 wasn’t Vernon Adams Jr. — it was Antonio Pipkin.

The 25-year-old has thrown eight career interceptions to just four touchdowns, but is an exceptional runner, having rushed 58 times for 318 yards and nine scores. For a team looking to add an athletic backup quarterback, Pipkin could be a perfect fit.

3) Logan Kilgore, Edmonton Football Team

The Middle Tennessee State product joined Edmonton in 2019 having not thrown a pass since 2016. With nineteen career interceptions to just eight touchdowns, Kilgore will be viewed as a depth option.

4) Montell Cozart, Calgary Stampeders

The 25-year-old has attempted just one career pass, but spending two years in Calgary’s system makes him an intriguing prospect.

5) Grant Kraemer, B.C. Lions

The former Drake University star dressed for one game in 2019, completing one of two pass attempts.

Nationals

1) Michael O’Connor, Toronto Argonauts

Canadian quarterbacks are usually irrelevant in the CFL’s annual free agent frenzy, but that’s not the case in 2021.

O’Connor was a third-round pick of the Argos in 2019 and saw action as a rookie, completing 15-of-25 pass attempts for 173 yards and one touchdown. The UBC product has the size, skill, and athleticism to become a legitimate CFL starting quarterback.

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