Hamilton Tiger-Cats name Jeremiah Masoli starting quarterback to begin 2021 season

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have finally made it official: Jeremiah Masoli has been named the starting quarterback to begin the 2021 season.

Masoli wins the training camp competition with fellow QB Dane Evans. Prior to practice on Sunday, head coach Orlondo Steinauer called the team together and let the group know Masoli had been anointed QB1.

The 32-year-old signed a one-year contract extension with the Ticats in late January. It included a $125,00 signing bonus, $150,000 in base salary, $12,000 in housing and $3,500 per game for playing 51 percent or more of the offensive snaps.

If Masoli wins the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award he earns an additional $8,000, leading the league in passing yards $3,000, league all-star $2,000, East Division passing yards leader $1,500 and East Division all-star $1,000.

Masoli initially became Hamilton’s starting quarterback in 2017 after June Jones was named the team’s new head coach. He’s been one of the CFL’s most consistent passers since, earning an East Division all-star nod in 2018.

Through 102 career CFL games, Masoli has completed 66 percent of his passes for 13,110 yards with 70 touchdowns against 45 interceptions. He is also an effective runner, rushing 224 times (5.9 yards per carry) for 1,323 yards and 18 majors.

In 2019, Masoli led the Tabbies to their best start since 1998 at 5-1. He 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 scores in parts of six games.

However, in Week 7 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the five-foot-10, 215-pound pivot tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. The cancelled 2020 season provided extra time for Masoli to recover and he’s been full go since the start of camp with no setbacks from being back on the field.