Redblacks get serious about securing offensive line, pay big bucks for Jacob Ruby

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Ottawa Redblacks made a significant investment in their offensive line when they signed Canadian guard Jacob Ruby to a two-year contract.

The former first-round pick received a $30,000 signing bonus to join the club on a two-year deal that includes a $114,000 base salary over the course of the 2022 season. He will also earn $12,000 in housing money and $500 each time he plays more than half of Ottawa’s offensive snaps in a game.

As such, Ruby will earn a total $165,000 if he starts all 18 regular season games this upcoming season.

His salary is set to increase to $119,000 in 2023 with the $30,000 signing bonus converting to a report-and-pass bonus due at the start of training camp. As such, Ruby is slated to collect a total of $170,000 in 2023 if he starts all 18 regular season games in Ottawa.

Ruby’s new deal puts him among the CFL’s highest-paid offensive linemen for 2022, approximately $15,000 back of Edmonton’s David Beard, Toronto’s Dariusz Bladek, and B.C.’s Sukh Chungh. Toronto’s Jamal Campbell is currently slated to be the CFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman in 2022 with total earnings of $200,000.

The native of London, Ont. started three games at left guard for Edmonton in 2021 but was released after misrepresenting his vaccination status to the team. He apologized for his mistake six weeks after being cut and is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Redblacks needed help along the offensive line after allowing a league-worst 53 sacks in 2021, which was 13 more than any other team. The retirement of local product Alex Mateas just before the season proved disastrous as the club was unable to properly replace him along the line of scrimmage.

Veteran offensive linemen Mark Korte and Nolan MacMillan, who started a combined 20 games for Ottawa in 2021, remain pending free agents with four weeks to go before the deadline.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.