Riders give QB Cody Fajardo $170,000 signing bonus in exchange for small 2022 pay cut

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and franchise quarterback Cody Fajardo worked together for the benefit of both sides.

Fajardo accepted a small pay cut within his restructured 2022 contract and received substantial upfront money to do so. The change to his compensation has helped the Riders lower his salary cap number while the franchise QB has the chance to net a similar amount of cash after taxes.

Altogether, No. 7 will get $467,000 in hard money with possible maximum earnings of $485,000. That’s a $24,000 difference on paper from what the 29-year-old was originally scheduled to earn this year, which was $509,000 — all hard money — and he made $404,000 prorated last season.

Fajardo was given a $170,000 signing bonus and now has a $280,000 base salary, $12,000 in housing, and a $5,000 travel allowance for the upcoming campaign. He can also collect $1,000 for each game in which he takes 51 percent or more of the offensive snaps.

During 2021, Fajardo led the Green and White to a 9-4 record as a starter and Saskatchewan’s first home playoff win at new Mosaic Stadium. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,970 yards with 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while rushing 78 times for 468 yards (6 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. 

Fajardo led the Riders to a 12-4 record in 2019, throwing for a CFL-leading 4,302 yards while completing over 71 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions. The dual-threat pivot used his legs for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 rushing attempts, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

The six-foot-two, 215-pounder was named the league’s all-star at the most important position in football that year and earned the West Division’s Most Outstanding Player nod to go along with it. Rider Nation is expecting Fajardo to play at an elite level and hoist the Grey Cup on home turf in November.

General manager Jeremy O’Day believes Fajardo, who has a 21-8 win-loss record with a 1-2 mark in the post-season, is a winner and he’s taken care of the paperwork to put all of his focus into performing on the field.

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