Ottawa swearing-in: Redblacks agree to terms with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Ottawa Redblacks have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free agent quarterback Jeremiah Masoli through the 2023 season, per sources.

General manager Shawn Burke has a relationship with Masoli from eight seasons together in Hamilton and head coach Paul LaPolice hit it off with the veteran during the negotiating window. The five-foot-10, 215-pound dual-threat QB gives the offensive guru abilities he likes in an athlete behind centre.

Masoli immediately improves Ottawa’s offence and provides valuable leadership to a young roster. His presence can help recruit players to the nation’s capital, especially on offence where playmakers are needed. The Redblacks scored a league-low 224 points in 2021 despite LaPolice scheming and calling offensive plays.

Ottawa was the only team in the CFL last season to average less than 200 passing yards per game (194.6) and have a completion rate under 60 percent (59.2) while managing a league-worst eight touchdown passes. The proven passer will boost those numbers and give the Redblacks an experienced starter.

Masoli has played 114 CFL games in his career, completing 67 percent of his passes for 15,555 yards with 80 touchdowns against 51 interceptions and rushed 252 times for 1,507 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and 19 majors. He has started 51 regular season games while producing a 27-24 win-loss record with a 4-2 playoff mark.

The 33-year-old had his best year in 2018 with the Tiger-Cats. He threw for 5,209 yards and 28 touchdowns versus 18 interceptions while running 63 times for 473 yards and two touchdowns on the way to being named the East Division Most Outstanding Player. The Ticats lost to Ottawa in the East Final that year in the nation’s capital when Trevor Harris set a post-season CFL record with six touchdown passes.

Masoli earned $322,000 prorated in 2021 and his performance in the 108th Grey Cup against Winnipeg earned him more money for the upcoming season. He completed 20-of-25 passes (80 percent) for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while rushing six times for 35 yards (5.8 yards per carry) in a 33-25 overtime loss to the Blue Bombers.

Masoli got a $200,000 signing bonus — the highest given to any player since 2019 when Michael Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell signed four-year contracts — as part of $432,000 in hard money for the coming season with $18,000 in playtime cash available plus another $8,000 in incentives.