Contract restructure with Elks gives QB Nick Arbuckle ‘reassurance’ Chris Jones has plans for him in 2022

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Nick Arbuckle feels more comfortable with his situation in Edmonton after restructuring his contract with the Elks.

General manager and head coach Chris Jones paid him a $100,00 signing bonus as part of a deal that can net him approximately $340,000 in 2022.

“It was a conversation that my agent and the Elks management had pretty early on after they signed. It was important for myself to get at least reassurance that they want me,” Arbuckle said on TSN 1260 radio.

Edmonton acquired Arbuckle in a trade with the Toronto Argonauts on October 26 in exchange for a conditional pick and the rights to negotiation list QB Chad Kelly. Arbuckle being re-signed by then-GM Brock Sunderland in November meant the Elks gave the Argos their second round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft.

“To have that reassurance that I am in the plans for being on the team come training camp and I’m here to compete is really good for me. Any player whenever you sign with a previous staff and a new staff comes in there’s always those questions because they’re not the ones that picked you or wanted to sign you,” Arbuckle said.

“Chris Jones, him being the head coach and GM, sees me as a part of the plans for the team and to be on the roster and compete for a quarterback job. Just a fair chance to compete, that’s all I’ve heard about Chris Jones and one of the best things that have made his teams great.”

The 28-year-old watched five Elks games from the sidelines last year after he was acquired. Former head coach Jaime Elizondo didn’t want to put him in a situation that wasn’t favourable, which means he’ll play his first game in green and gold under Jones this coming season.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to come in and have that opportunity to compete to be the starting quarterback for the Elks,” Arbuckle said. “I don’t expect anything more than that, no promises or assurances of being the starter or anything like that.”