Signing Duke Williams Roughrider management’s response to Cody Fajardo frustration

Cody Fajardo is the star of the show in Riderville these days.

And when you’re the big man in town, it’s hard for management to not care what you think. Especially, when it’s out in the open for all in the public to see.




Fajardo poured his heart out in front of the whole country after his final pass was intercepted in the Riders 23-17 loss at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium in Week 9. He showed it on the TSN cameras and then again in his post-game Zoom press conference with reporters.

In case you missed it, Fajardo let loose. And that was some foreshadowing for what was ahead.

“We just need to find a guy who can go down and make a play other than (Kian) Schaffer-Baker who’s going to draw a double-team. That’s the biggest thing is finding a guy the opposite of that. I know Shaq (Evans) is coming close but we can’t count on that, he’s still a game or two away, so we’ve got to find somebody and get some confidence with the deep ball.”

General manager Jeremy O’Day, a former Rider player and CFL Players’ Association rep himself, along with head coach Craig Dickenson are both very cognizant of the need to allow for player input to create a culture that works for them.

Fajardo’s post-game outburst drew a clear line in the sand and the Rider football operations department heard their franchise quarterback loud and clear.

The signing of a one-time 1,500-yard receiver in Duke Williams, who was surely in heavy demand by other teams around the league, is a clear sign the Riders will try to buy chef Fajardo any groceries he wants to cook the meal — full commitment to Fajardo as their leader.

The move also shifts the pressure squarely onto Fajardo’s shoulders to make this work. As if the job of Saskatchewan Roughrider starting quarterback wasn’t enough a pressure-cooker, already.

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