Saskatchewan Roughriders sign former first-round NFL pick, QB Paxton Lynch

Photo courtesy: Michael Wade/University of Memphis

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American quarterback Paxton Lynch.

The six-foot-seven, 244-pound Lynch joins the Riders after spending five years in the NFL. He was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round, 26th overall during the 2016 NFL Draft.

The 27-year-old spent two seasons in Denver, suiting up in five games and starting four. He had a 1-3 win-loss record while completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Lynch hasn’t played in an NFL game since the 2017 season. Seattle and Pittsburgh released him among the final training camp cuts in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Lynch was a prolific passer at the University of Memphis. He started 38 games for the Tigers passing for 8,863 yards, 59 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions with a 62.9 completion rate while adding 687 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. After being tabbed as a three-star recruit by Rivals, Lynch outperformed his ranking in the NCAA.

The Florida native was a two-time, all-conference honoree, one of 12 finalists for the Manning Award and one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was also a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and for the 79th Maxwell Award.

In his junior collegiate season, he tied an NCAA record by completing seven touchdown passes in the first half of a game and finished the year ranked 11th in the NCAA in passing efficiency (157.5). Lynch decided to forgo his final collegiate season to enter the NFL Draft. 

Lynch earned over $8.8 million in the NFL. His agent is Leigh Steinberg who negotiated Vince Young’s contract with the Riders. Current GM Jeremy O’Day was an assistant general manager under Chris Jones when Steinberg came to town with Young.