John Hufnagel special: Stamps GM negotiates bargain rate contract for QB Jake Maier

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Calgary Stampeders general manager John Hufnagel has negotiated another bargain rate contract.

Hufnagel signed quarterback Jake Maier to a one-year extension for the 2022 season worth $120,000 in hard money with $60,000 in playtime bonus cash available plus the potential for up to $6,000 more if he garners individual awards.

Maier received a $30,000 signing bonus for inking the deal that includes a $73,000 base salary, $12,000 in housing, $3,000 to use towards training and $2,000 in travel allowance. If Maier plays 51 percent of the total offensive snaps he’ll earn an extra $3333.33 per game.

The 24-year-old can make $1,000 for a West Division all-star nod, $2,000 for a CFL all-star selection, $1,000 for being named the team’s Most Outstanding Player and $2,000 for the league’s Most Outstanding Player.

It’s a raise from the prorated $77,500 Maier took home for his work in 2021, but nowhere near the amount league insiders believe he could have netted on the open market — double the hard money or more might have been attainable. However, sometimes money isn’t everything and Maier did want to stay in Calgary and learn from elite quarterback minds in head coach Dave Dickenson and Bo Levi Mitchell.

Paying Maier $120,000 allows Hufnagel the salary cap room to afford Mitchell and keep the franchise man in red and white. It’s expected the two sides will agree on a reworked contract for the coming season with No. 19 remaining in Stamps colours. Hufnagel wanted the potential future and present at the most important position in football back in Cowtown and barring an unforeseen change that’s going to happen.

Maier played 11 games for Calgary and made three starts (2-1) while Mitchell was recovering from a broken leg. During his rookie season, the six-foot, 212-pound pivot completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 1,211 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also carried the ball 16 times for 31 yards and two touchdowns and made one catch for six yards.

In Maier’s CFL debut in Week 3, he earned the victory as the starting QB against the Montreal Alouettes. And his second start saw him set a franchise record by completing 17 consecutive passes. He helped the Stamps rally from a 12-point deficit in Week 16 against Winnipeg with five minutes remaining to earn the win.

Hufnagel likes Maier’s demeanor and the young pro wants to continue developing under the best, which is why he accepted a below market offer while hoping it’ll pay dividends in the future.

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