Canadian quarterback Tre Ford plans to attend rookie camp with the Edmonton Elks this week instead of participating in rookie mini-camp with the New York Giants, according to Postmedia’s Dan Barnes.
“I feel if I do show up to camp late it kind of effects my chances of learning that new offence and being able to take command and control of that offence. I don’t want to fall behind because I don’t want to limit my opportunities. So I think it is important to try to be there at that camp on time and take control of the playbook,” Ford told Barnes.
Ford received an invitation to rookie mini-camp with the New York Giants following the 2022 NFL Draft, though he wasn’t exclusively going to participate as a passer. His decision not to visit the Giants appears to have been based at least partly on his desire to continue playing the quarterback position.
“I just want to be seen more as an athletic quarterback, not an athlete who is playing quarterback,” said the 24-year-old.
Ford was the eighth overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft, becoming the first quarterback to be selected in the first round of the CFL draft in over four decades. He attended rookie mini-camp with the Baltimore Ravens this past weekend, though he was not offered a contract by the team following its completion.
“I think it was good for me to go out there. I showed them what I could do, but right now they’re in a pretty good quarterback situation. They have Lamar (Jackson). They have their backup Tyler Huntley as well and they have a pretty good third guy as well, Anthony Brown,” said the University of Waterloo product.
Edmonton’s depth chart is wide open under centre with journeyman Nick Arbuckle and second-year passer Taylor Cornelius as the only two quarterbacks with CFL experience. Former college star J. T. Barrett was added to the retired list last week, though he was quickly replaced by fellow Ohio State product Cardale Jones.
Other quarterbacks currently under contract with the Elks include Keon Howard, Kai Locksley, Khalil Tate, and Mike Beaudry, none of whom have played a down in the CFL.
Ford won the Hec Crighton Trophy as the best player in U Sports football this past season after completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,770 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions while rushing 66 times for 667 yards and three touchdowns in seven games, including one in the playoffs.
He had his best statistical U Sports season in 2018 when he completed 74 percent of his passes for 3,093 yards, 30 touchdowns, and two interceptions while rushing 85 times for 771 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular season games and one in the playoffs.
Edmonton head coach and general manager Chris Jones raved about Ford leading up to the 2022 CFL Draft, calling him the best player at the University at Buffalo pro day in March. With the CFL recently implementing a rule allowing two quarterbacks to be on the field at the same time, it’s possible that Jones will use Ford in a variety of different ways in 2022.