Redblacks’ quarterback Matt Nichols: ‘I hope everyone picks us to finish dead last’

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Matt Nichols welcomes the doubters.

His new team in the nation’s capital has been given the longest odds to win the 2021 Grey Cup by Bodog Canada. The Redblacks had the worst record in the CFL in 2019, finishing 3-15 at the bottom of the East Division. Many pundits have predicted a last-place finish for Ottawa in the nine-team league again this year.

“I hope everyone picks us to finish dead last. That’s the way I’ve always operated and I love playing with that chip on your shoulder, I plan on going out and winning football games. Everyone looks great on paper, but that’s why you play the games. We look forward to going out and proving ourselves,” Nichols said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.

“I worry about what we’re doing, that’s the approach I’ve always taken. When you start looking at those things or worrying about those things all it can do is be detrimental to you. For us, we know we have a good roster, great coaching staff, veteran players — we know we’re going to be able to compete with anyone.”

Nichols signed a two-year contract with the Redblacks in January which runs through the 2022 season. It includes a $200,000 report and pass bonus with the chance for him to make $317,000 in hard money this year. His base salary is $105,000 with $12,000 possible in housing payments on a per game basis.

The ten-year veteran has passed for 18,363 yards, 108 touchdowns, and 60 interceptions while completing 66 percent of his attempts. He’s also recorded 140 carries for 617 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground en route to a 45-28 win-loss record as a starter. Nichols won a Grey Cup with the Bombers in 2019 but missed the postseason due to a shoulder injury.

“Anyone would be more than willing to deal with whatever conditions Hamilton throws at you December 12,” Nichols said. “Everyone knows it’s going to be freezing cold and windy. Obviously plan on being there.”

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