Riders neg list QB Jake Dolegala free agent after Patriots select Mac Jones in NFL Draft

Courtesy of the New England Patriots/Eric J. Adler

The New England Patriots’ selection of quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft had reverberations all the way across the border to Regina.

Saskatchewan Roughriders negotiation list QB Jake Dolegala was released after Bill Belichick picked the University of Alabama product No. 15 overall. Dolegala spent the majority of the 2020 NFL season with the Pats as the team went 7-9 and missed the playoffs in the first year of the post-Tom Brady era.

Saskatchewan has had Dolegala on their exclusive neg list since September 7, 2020. That transaction was made two days after the Cincinnati Bengals released the Hamburg, New York native. After going unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bengals signed the six-foot-seven, 242-pound passer as an undrafted free agent.

Dolegala spent the entire 2019 NFL season on Cincinnati’s 53-man active roster as a backup quarterback, but he never played in a regular season game. During two pre-season outings that year, the 24-year-old completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (37-of-53) for 347 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions, and rushed three times for 12 yards.

Dolegala has earned over $630,000 USD during two seasons in the NFL.

The Central Connecticut State University graduate threw for 8,129 yards with 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions while completing 57.6 percent of his passes in 44 games as a Blue Devil. He added 233 carries for 452 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns playing in the Northeast Conference. Dolegala left Central Connecticut State as the school’s all-time leading passer.

The Riders currently have five quarterbacks on the roster, including franchise man Cody Fajardo, Isaac Harker, Luke Falk, Mason Fine, and Tom Flacco. General manager Jeremy O’Day also has 2016 third-round NFL Draft pick Cody Kessler on Saskatchewan’s negotiation list.

In February, O’Day was planning to bring six quarterbacks to training camp in 2021, but that could change depending on the situation with COVID-19. There are no assurances a season happens, however, if football is played, Saskatchewan will have intriguing decisions to make at the game’s most important position.

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